Mike Stevens | Aug 20, 2012

There is little about Toyota's new small car that has not been uncovered through weeks of leaked information, but today it is official: this is the 2013 Toyota Corolla hatch.

On sale in Japan from today, the new Corolla will make its official local debut at October's Australian International Motor Show in Sydney.

Toyota says the sharpened look of the iconic Corolla is the result of a stronger focus on European buying preferences, which the carmaker says are "broadly similar" to the tastes of Australian motorists.

Standout styling elements include the same deep-v grille design featured on the new Yaris and the upcoming RAV4 (along with the still-fresh Tarago) and sharp new headlights.

The 2013 Corolla also picks up a longer windscreen, contributing to a more streamlined profile than the current model.

Inside is a mostly black and grey dash design, with an uninterrupted top level and circular air vents.

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The gear shifter has also returned to the more traditional position in the now-separated centre console.

Toyota's TRD tuning arm has revealed its own sports and styling pack for the Japanese-market Corolla, and the familiar Modellista design options will also be offered.

Although revealed in earlier leaks, it has also been confirmed this week that the new Corolla will utilise an upgraded version of the existing 1.8 litre petrol engine, delivering more power. Exact figures have not been released however.

A new BMW-sourced diesel has also been confirmed, although it remains to be seen if Toyota will bring this option to Australia.

Toyota says the driving experience in the new Corolla was also a focus, with the new model offering greater weight management and a more extensive use of high-tensile steel, saving up to 40 percent in weight and delivering a lower centre of gravity.

Interior space is also improved with the new Corolla, with rear passengers getting an extra 20mm of knee room, and the storage space growing by 90mm.

With the back seats up, rear storage capacity has grown to 360 litres.

In Australia, the new Corolla will tackle Hyundai's new i30 and the Ford Focus, and Toyota will be looking to the hatch's sportier style to battle the next Mazda3 - which will undoubtedly be sharper than the already segment-leading current model.

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