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2018 Toyota Corolla
2019 Toyota Corolla. Photo: Supplied
 
 

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Alex Rae | Apr, 16 2018 | 0 Comments

Toyota has released further details of its sportier Corolla that will feature a comprehensive safety suite as standard across the range.

The new hatch is packed with safety technology that will also debut in the new RAV4 SUV when it arrives in Australia next year as well as key future models.

Arriving later this year, Toyota vice president of operations Sean Hanley said its best-selling passenger car brings more attractive styling inside and out, a sportier ride and beefier engine without compromise to safety – all at an affordable and competitive price to current rivals.

“We are positioning the new Corolla as a premium, high-quality hatch focused on performance and technology with more attractive styling, more spec including advanced safety, and more powerful yet more efficient drivetrains,” he said.

The list of standard safety features included in the brand’s ‘Safety Sense 2’ that will be fitted to all Corolla models includes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, adaptive radar cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist and automatic dipping highbeam lights along with seven airbags and a reversing camera.

Further optional safety additions include blind spot monitoring, lane tracing assist for hands-on assisted driving in traffic and on highways, and road sign recognition which can decipher give way, stop, do not enter and speed limit signs, rounding out a comprehensive safety package tested in Australian conditions.

The standard safety suite included on the base model Corolla eclipses efforts from rivals such as the Hyundai i30 and Volkswagen Golf, but Hanley insists pricing will be sharp.

“In addition, the new Corolla will remain extremely competitive and affordable. We expect Corolla to remain Australia’s best-selling car,” he said.

The safety suite will also bolster entry-level offerings of Toyota’s upcoming models such as the new RAV4 which is due to land here in 2019.

“This whole package comes under Toyota Safety Sense 2 so as new major models launch, this safety tech will be introduced.”

Pricing and exact model grade specification for the new Corolla won’t be revealed until August when the car is launched, but Toyota has revealed it will offer a simpler line-up with three model grades that can be fitted with either a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol or revised 1.8-litre hybrid drivetrain.

The new petrol engine is smaller and lighter than the outgoing 1.8-litre unit while rising power and torque from 102kW/173Nm to 126kW/205Nm.

The hybrid has not been detailed but it will be ‘possible to commute to work using 50 per of the hybrid electric motor’, with the older nickel-metal hydride battery system capable of roughly 10km augmented electric driving.

Toyota also confirmed one of the models will have a sportier bent, referencing images of a blue hatch with spoiler and larger alloy wheels, but it won’t receive a sportier tune.

However, it will make the most of the new TNGA platform it’s built on that’s 60 per cent stiffer and has better handling and stability via a revised MacPherson strut front and new multilink rear suspension.

“The new Corolla sits closer to the ground, allowing for a sportier, more athletic design. TNGA is also central to improved handling response, stability and comfort," said Hanley.

"This is due to the platform’s low centre of gravity, improved front-to-rear weight balance and significantly increased body rigidity.”

New CVT and six-speed manual transmissions join the line-up and while the CVT that comes with a world-first ‘launch gear’ will be mated to the hybrid drivetrain, Toyota is not revealing which grades are available with what transmission, though the manual with automatic rev-matching will be a good fit for the sports variant.

Other features include LED headlights, 8-inch infotainment, 10-speaker JBL sound system, dual-zone climate, electric park brake, keyless entry and start, colour heads-up display and wireless phone charger.

But Toyota Australia will not be fitting Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa phone connectivity as per US models, though it says Apple CarPlay is currently being tested to work in Oz and will roll out the feature in the future.

Pricing and specifications will be revealed when the new Corolla launches in August.

 
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