The current generation of the Toyota Corolla Altis has been on sale in India since early 2014. While it had been able to hold on to the top spot in the D1 sedan segment for a long time, increased competition has eaten into its share.
While the new Hyundai Elantra has certainly affected the sales of the Corolla Altis, the launch of a similarly priced Hyundai Tucson SUV has served as a double whammy. And this is evident in the sales numbers released in January 2017, which reflect that the Corolla Altis has slid down to being the 4th most popular car in the segment!
On one hand, it is certain that Toyota is going to launch the updated Corolla Altis in the first week of March 2017 since some dealers across the country have already begun accepting pre-bookings for the car at a quoted amount of Rs 1 Lakh.
On the other hand, what is not confirmed is what changes Toyota will make to help the Corolla regain lost ground. Toyota had revealed a facelift of the Corolla for select markets internationally in 2016, which is also expected to make its way to India, but there is no confirmation about it from the company.
If Toyota does bring in the facelift, it will adhere to the company's new exciting design language seen internationally. The basic silhouette of the car will remain the same, though it will receive new LED headlamps, a narrower grille and a new LED tail-lamp. Inside, the changes could include a revised dashboard layout and the use of new soft-touch materials. Toyota could also include a larger infotainment system to make the Corolla Altis feel more premium than the competition, especially since the Hyundai Elantra has already been lauded for the unit it has.
Alternatively, Toyota could also opt to update the design slightly rather than introducing the facelift, to save on costs.
The powertrain options in the new Toyota Corolla Altis are expected to remain the same. First, a 1.8-litre, naturally aspirated, 4-cylinder petrol motor, developing 140PS of maximum power and 173Nm of peak torque, paired to either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed automatic transmission and second, a 1.4-litre, turbocharged, 4-cylinder diesel motor, developing 88PS of maximum power and 205Nm of peak torque, paired to a 6-speed manual transmission.
There are also reports online suggesting that the Corolla Altis facelift in India might also be offered with a hybrid powertrain. Toyota has already refreshed the Camry Hybrid for the 2017 model-year, and also launched the all-new Prius hybrid in the country and the introduction of the Corolla Altis hybrid could give the model an advantage over the competition.
If Toyota does launch the Corolla Altis hybrid in India, it will be powered by a 1.8-litre, naturally aspirated, 4-cylinder petrol motor, paired with an electric motor, with a combined maximum power output of 128PS of maximum power and a claimed fuel efficiency of 23kmpl.
We will keep you posted as and when Toyota officially releases any information on the upcoming Corolla Altis. Stay tuned.
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