Sunday, June 9, 2013
Euro Toyota Corolla Could be Closer to What We're Eventually Getting
With the launch of the all-new Toyota Corolla for the North American market, speculation is high on what will eventually reach ASEAN shores, particularly, the Philippines. Though the North American Corolla is the strongest indicator yet, I would like to personally throw my bet behind the European Corolla, the photos of which were released at almost the same time as the North American version.
Based on the leaked brochure shots obtained by leading Malaysian auto blogger, Paul Tan, the ASEAN Corolla Altis will likely receive the European schnoz. Compared to the North American model the European Corolla receives more bright work with a two-bar chrome grille extending to the headlamps. At the same time, there are LED daytime running lights in the headlamps with the dark surrounds. At the back, the Euro Corolla receives a more Camry-isque rear-end with extended two-tone tail lamps with LED brake lamps and a chrome bar that runs through the trunk lid.
These styling details aside, the Corolla is a global model meaning it will sit on a common platform shared worldwide. The all-new Corolla is larger than the model it replaces in all dimensions sans height: length (+ 99mm), width (+16 mm), and height (-10 mm). The biggest change though is the wheelbase which has been lengthened to 2,700 mm or an increase of 100 mm over the current model. That said, the all-new Corolla will continue to ride on MacPherson Struts at the front and a Torsion Bar Axle rear suspension.
Inside, the North American and European Corolla are almost the same save for the available color scheme as well as the gauges. This means the all-new Corolla benefits from additional passenger space for both front and rear passengers as well as better ergonomics and support.
Now, here’s the tricky part: the drivetrain. The North American models receive two variants of a 1.8-liter model, one that’s largely a carryover of the current 1.8-liter engine (132 horsepower) and another that’s rated at 140 horsepower. The latter one features Toyota’s new Valvematic technology which offers continuously variable valve timing on the intake side as opposed to the exhaust side on the non-Valvematic equipped engine. The old engine will be mated to a four-speed automatic, while the Valvematic 1.8-liter gets a new CVT with 7 virtual gears.
Having a sole engine displacement is well and good when the Corolla is a mere entry-level compact sedan; such is the case in the North American market. However, for the ASEAN market, I suspect that the Corolla Altis will EITHER continue with the current line-up offering the Dual VVT-i equipped 1.6-liter (122 horsepower) mated to either a 4-speed automatic or 6-speed manual, and the 2.0-liter (145 horsepower) engine mated to a CVT transmission. If Toyota tries to do something a bit bolder for the ASEAN market though, I suspect the 2.0-liter to be dropped for the 1.8-liter Valvematic given they have similar power outputs.
The all-new Toyota Corolla Altis is expected to debut for the ASEAN market sometime end of 2013. So keep yourselves glued to this space to find out more.
Additional Sources: PaulTan.org