An all-new petrol engine, updated Toyota hybrid system and a highly rigid platform are at the heart of the next-generation Corolla hatch’s fun-to-drive identity.
Due to go on sale locally in August, more details about the new Corolla hatch have been released ahead of next week’s New York motor show.
The new Corolla features a 2.0-litre Dynamic Force direct-injection in-line four-cylinder engine as well as new manual and CVT automatic transmissions.
Dynamic improvements include a new Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform that improves torsional rigidity by 60 per cent, along with a new multi-link rear suspension and upgraded front suspension.
On-road feel and fuel efficiency is further refined through a low centre of gravity and the extensive use of aluminium and high-strength steels in the lighter-weight chassis and body.
Standard advanced safety technologies include a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection*, active cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beam, seven airbags and a reversing camera.
A dynamic and sophisticated exterior design is 25mm lower, 30mm wider and 40mm longer than its predecessor with wider tracks and a 40mm longer wheelbase. The bonnet sits 47mm lower, affording passengers excellent forward visibility.
Complementing the fresh exterior styling is an upscale interior with supportive new sport seats, a longer and wider centre console and quality touches including smaller gaps between buttons and switches.
Front-passengers hip points are lower to provide a more natural body posture and positioning for ideal access to the multifunction steering wheel, pedals, and gearshift.
Corolla hatch’s new petrol engine adopts the latest in Toyota technology for substantially increased power and fuel efficiency along with cleaner emissions.
Smaller and lighter than the current 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine, the new engine helps lower the centre of gravity and benefits the car’s overall balance.
It incorporates Toyota’s latest D-4S fuel-injection that uses high-pressure direct injection and low-pressure port fuel injection. The set-up adapts its injection method based on driving conditions so that ideal combustion is achieved.
The engine is equipped with VVT-iE (variable valve timing-intelligence by electric motor) on the intake side and VVT-i on the exhaust. VVT-iE uses an electric motor instead of oil pressure to control the variable valve timing.
It features a longer stroke, higher compression ratio, more efficient and complete combustion, reduced friction and lighter timing chain.
A new six-speed intelligent manual gearbox will appeal to keen drivers with its downshift rev-matching control. It is one of the world’s most efficient and smallest transmissions – 6.8kg lighter and 24mm shorter than the current car’s manual gearbox.
The 2.0-litre engine is also available with an all-new Dynamic-Shift CVT that has simulated 10-speed sequential shift steps, sport mode and paddle shifters.
It features several innovative elements, including the world’s first launch gear in a passenger vehicle CVT for improved efficiency in lower gear ratios.
The system uses a gear drive off the line, resulting in powerful yet smooth acceleration. When switching from gear drive to belt drive, the transmission system uses highly responsive gear change control technologies cultivated from automatic transmission technology.
Corolla hatch buyers will also be able to choose the latest version of Toyota’s 1.8-litre hybrid powertrain with improved low-range torque and fuel efficiency to rival Prius.
On all models, high-quality steering feel, ride comfort, and handling stability is aided by revised MacPherson strut geometry at the front, including new coil-spring rates and damping forces, plus reduced friction in sliding parts.
At the rear, a new multi-link suspension with stabiliser bar sharpens responsiveness. Lower arm locations have moved (for improved toe-in angle during higher-speed manoeuvring), as has shock absorber placement (moved forward for better cargo capacity and reduced longitudinal low frequency input). Overall, front and rear suspension friction has been reduced by 40 per cent, and its centre of gravity is cut by a substantial 20mm.
The new frontal styling with a rounded nose and trapezoidal-shaped under grille is flanked by slim bi-LED headlamps that wrap deep into the front fenders.
Front overhang has been reduced by 20mm; at the rear, it’s 20mm longer. Chiselled character lines result in an active, well-planted expression. Wheel sizes range from 16-inches to 18-inches in diameter.
The hatch tailgate is now made from Toyota Super Olefin Polymer and Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene for light weight that aids fuel efficiency. It is set at a more acute angle (moved 14 degrees forward) for a sportier look.
Tail-lamps are LED and the rear bumper echoes the front design with its thin lower lip and chrome diffuser.
All models feature an electronic parking brake and two front USB outlets while sound systems include an available JBL premium audio with Clari-Fi technology that analyses, rebuilds and restores audio signals that were lost in the digital compression process.
Grade-dependent features include single-zone manual air-conditioning or dual-zone automatic climate control, paddle shifters and 4.2-inch or 7-inch thin-film transistor multi-information displays.