Monday, 4 June 2007

2007 All-New Toyota Corolla Sedan

By Dr Long

Here are some official pictures of an important bread-and butter model from the world’s largest automaker - that’s in a dilemma for the ASEAN market. Caught in a pricing and model segmentation limbo between the super-popular VIOS (except in Indonesia where the Honda City rules) and the new Camry, its succession has been delayed even in Thailand. Traditionally a first-launch place since Toyota Thailand’s Gateway plant is the manufacturing base for this regional market, it's nowhere to be seen in the royal kingdom yet.

Pictured above is the extensively facelifted (and possibly slightly larger) version of the boring-looking JDM Corolla Axio (seen below). More dynamic and youthful looking, it is slated for practically all of the exported Asian markets. Nicking external design cues from the new VIOS, new Camry as well as the premium Lexus IS250, it was actually previewed in Beijing in November 2006. On the inside, most design elements from the Toyota Auris hatchback are carried over.

This C-segment saloon from Toyota is 4,540mm long x 1,760mm wide x 1,490mm tall. Compared to the current Corolla Altis, this all-new model is 10mm longer and 55mm wider. The top-end 1.8L variant will get Dual VVT-i camshaft timings trickery, while the 1.6L sibling will likely carry over the old engine et al. It remains to be seen whether there will be a 2.0L option to challenge the Civic 2.0S iVTEC.

The 1.8L petrol motor codenamed 2ZR-FE, comes with a new CVT-i transmission in Japan. However, the ASEAN iteration will only make do with 4-speed auto or 6-speed manual 'box – if the final specs are to mirror the previewed model in China last year. As much as the Camry 2.0L is disappointing with only a 4-speed A/T vs. the Honda Accord, this new Corolla is also one cog behind the new Civic, as even the Singapore model Civic 1.6 comes equipped with a standard 5-speed torque converter.

As UMW Toyota is busy preparing for the onslaught of its all-new VIOS for the Malaysian market come Q4 2007, it is unlikely that this new Corolla model will see the light of day anytime soon before the year runs out.


BMW.Toyota said...

Good write-up! Very insighful with loads of details. Bravo!

drlong said...

Glad you enjoyed the report!
A true blue Toyota fan, eh?
Cheers :)

Flash said...

Thank you for review