If like us you think that most cars wearing the Toyota badge are snooze worthy then the following news may be of interest. We are not doubting for a moment that Toyota know how to build a good car but only the most staunch 'Toyota-head' would ever think they built interesting cars.
Toyota has just confirmed that the new 2007 Toyota Corolla has been designed from the outset to allow fitment of AWD and V6 engines. In fact it will accept anything from a 1.4-litre four-cylinder right up to a 3.5-litre V6.
The new 2007 Corolla weighs more than the car it replaces and much of the added weight can be attributed to the extra strengthening required to ensure that higher powered engines and diesels can be fitted. Some overseas versions of the Corolla (known as the Auris in most other markets) feature an independent double wish-bone rear suspension (Australian Corollas get the cheaper torsion beam rear end). Their platform shares much in common with the latest generation Rav4 which means they will accept fitment of AWD hardware.
Australia is likely to see, initially at least a version of the Japanese home market 'Blade' model (pictured above) which features the 2.4-litre 2AZ-FE four-cylinder from the current Camry. The 2AZ-FE develops 123kW at 6000rpm and 224Nm at 4000rpm. The Blade is available in Japan with either FWD or AWD and features a CVT automatic transmission.
There are no prizes for guessing that when the hi-po 2.4-litre Corolla comes to Australia Toyota will probably be naming it the Corolla 'Sportivo'. The Corolla Sportivo is not expected in Australia for about two years which we think is more than enough time for Toyota to come up with a decent name.
Toyota may consider developing a â€˜heroâ€™ version of the Corolla by fitting AWD and the 2GR-FE 3.5-litre quad cam 24-valve V6 that we know from the Aurion. It delivers 200kW of power at 6200rpm (204kW on premium unleaded) and peak torque of 336Nm at 4700rpm. If the monster Corolla did get the go-ahead then it would be likely that 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic (possibly CVT?) versions would be made available.
Could Toyota be looking at challenging the likes of the VW R32 Golf or RenaultSport Clio V6? Imagine an Aurion with 300kgs stripped out of it and AWDâ€¦weâ€™d like to see that!
You can read more about the 2007 Toyota Corolla by clicking the links: