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Toyota Corolla unveiled

Size does matter: Toyota's new generation Corolla is bigger in every direction and includes a mini people-mover as part of the range.

The new Corolla, unveiled in Tokyo, has a more hard-edged shape

4 Sep 2000

TOYOTA has pulled the wraps off an all-new Corolla that is bigger in every direction than the current model.

Unveiled in Tokyo last Monday, the new model dispenses with the present model's rounded, organic lines in favour of a more hard-edged shape reminiscent of the Echo and Prius.

The new model is the ninth iteration of the Corolla since the original was launched in 1966.

There is still no official word on when the newcomer is due here, but a late 2001 arrival seems likely.

It is offered in two body styles in Japan - a conventional sedan and a mini-people mover along the lines of the imminent Mazda Premacy.

Although relatively mundane in appearance, the new Corolla sources much of its hardware from the radically styled Celica.

It is offered with an array of engines in its domestic market, ranging from 1.3 and 1.5-litre units - borrowed from the Echo - to a 1.8-litre Celica-derived powerplant.

But while the 1.8-litre four-pot is a high-revving screamer in the Celica, it is detuned to produce 100kW at substantially lower revs in the Corolla.

A four-wheel drive version is offered in Japan but Australian buyers will have to settle for front-drive variants.

The existing Corolla has been a strong performer for Toyota, notching up a class-leading 13,871 sales until the end of July.

Its nearest competitors are the Nissan Pulsar (10,960) and Mitsubishi Lancer (10,450).

The Pulsar is likely to perform better during the remainder of the year as the all-new model only came on stream midway through July.

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