2018 Toyota Corolla
2018 Toyota Corolla. Photo: Supplied

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Alex Rae | Mar, 26 2018 | 0 Comments

Toyota has detailed its sportier and more spacious Corolla ahead of its North American debut at the New York auto show this week.

Bringing a bolder profile with sportier aspirations than before, the new Corolla receives a dynamic overhaul and has grown dimensionally inside and out.

Detailed for the US market that will trickle most of its interior options and two new power plants to Australia, Toyota’s small car joins an unfolding new-look line-up for the Japanese automaker.

Growing 40mm to 4370mm long and increasing the wheelbase by the same amount, the five-door hatchback is as big as it has ever been and a corresponding 30mm wider stance sees space inside grow.

Interior design has been overhauled and a contemporary 8.0-inch floating tablet-style infotainment system is centred on the dash with a clustered button array underneath and minimal elements elsewhere.

The aesthetic is simpler than before, and a longer dash increases the feeling of room.

Reduced gaps between switches and new materials such as stitched dark leather and grey fabric bolstered seats, chrome trims and hard and soft plastics are used to elevate the feeling of quality.

The front seats also sit lower for a better hip-point and seating position, and presumably the longer wheelbase adds legroom.

Available in only SE and XSE model grades in the US, the Corolla comes with other standard equipment such as 17 and 18-inch alloy wheels, 4.2 or 7.0-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa and Bluetooth connectivity, electronic parking brake, two USB ports, single or dual-zone climate control and an optional JBL 8-speaker 800-watt sound system is available.

Safety is increased and includes AEB with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with lane keeping assist, automatic high beam and reversing camera.

Built on the latest Toyota New Generation Architecture (TNGA), the upcoming Corolla is 60 per cent stiffer with better dynamic ability thanks to a revised MacPherson strut front-end and multi-link rear that Toyota says provides a “fun-to-drive identity.”

The front-end receives new spring coil rates and adjusted dampers while the rear adds an anti-roll bar and relocated suspension arms and shock absorbers that give more toe-in when high speed cornering and increased boot space.

Sitting 25mm lower in height overall and using extensive light-weight aluminium body structures and parts such as an ABS plastic-based tailgate, the centre of gravity has dropped 20mm lower, increasing performance potential.

An all-new 2.0-litre petrol engine replaces the 1.8-litre unit that will produce around 126kW of power and 205Nm of torque, though Toyota is yet to confirm specific performance details.

The new engine uses lighter internal parts, electronically-controlled valve timing instead of oil pressure sensing and a higher cylinder compression ratio for increased efficiency.

The 1.8-litre hybrid engine option remains but it brings improved low-end torque and lower fuel consumption, producing 107Kw and 180Nm from the petrol motor and 80kW and 202Nm from the electric addition.

A six-speed manual with automatic rev-matching is available and a new 10-speed CVT replaces the previous automatic with sports mode and paddle shifters. It also features the world’s first implementation of a CVT launch gear that effectively uses a real cog for high-gear acceleration and allows the CVT’s ‘low-gears’ to be more efficient.

The new Corolla arrives in Australia this August with local pricing and specifications yet to be confirmed.

MORE: Toyota News and Reviews

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