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Detroit show: Furia previews Toyota Corolla sedan

Young at heart: Toyota’s Corolla Furia concept is indicative of the new-generation Corolla sedan that will chase a younger cliental when it arrives later this year.

Toyota goes gunning for more youthful audience with 2013 Corolla Furia sedan

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Toyota logo15 Jan 2013

TOYOTA gave an insight into a new, more aggressive Corolla sedan at the Detroit motor show overnight, just months after the latest Toyota Corolla hatch was launched in Australia.

Called the Corolla Furia, the sporty four-door concept reflects Toyota’s ambition to attract younger buyers to its best-selling model, especially in the United States where the small car is under siege from fresher rivals.

The sedan is expected to go into production later this year, replacing the old model that is currently selling in parallel to the new 11th-generation hatch in Australian showrooms.

Toyota Australia public relations manager Mike Breen told GoAuto the Corolla Furia Concept was indicative of the design of the next Corolla sedan that is expected to go on sale in Australia in the first quarter of next year.

He confirmed that the new sedan was on still track for launch 12 to 18 months after the hatch, as was intimated at the hatch launch in October.

The new four-door model is shaping up as distinctly different to the Euro-style five-door hatchback as it was developed by a separate team under a different chief engineer.

Sitting on a 100mm-longer wheelbase than the hatch that made its Australian debut at the Australian International Motor Show in October, the Furia is also wider by 45mm but 15mm shorter.

In effect, the wheels have been pushed out to the corners of the car for a sportier stance.

The concept stands on 19-inch wheels – fanciful on such a mass-selling small car that is likely to turn up with 15-inch or 16-inch wheels in showrooms.

It is also adorned with carbon-fibre trim, including a boot-lip spoiler that is unlikely to make it into production on mainstream models.

However, US reports suggest the general shape is indicative of the new model that is anticipated in late 2013 in the US and Australia around the same time.

Like the outgoing sedan, the sheetmetal appears to be totally different to that of the hatch, including a unique bonnet with distinct lines and a chrome garnish on the leading edge.

The pronounced ‘beak’ at the front has a family similarity to the Corolla hatch, but again with differences, such as a smaller Toyota badge at its point.

The Furia has blacked-out elements, including the front bumper, rear diffuser, wheelarch trims and side sills, giving it a racy appearance, or, as Toyota puts it, “modern athleticism”.

Unveiling the new model, Toyota’s American group vice-president Bill Fay said Corolla Furia was “an early indicator of where our compact car design may lead in future”.

“It blends a heightened emphasis on dramatic design and modern elements of high technology to generate kerb appeal that will surprise a lot of people,” he said.

Toyota says Furia’s design theme was “iconic dynamism”, which is described as “pure and simple surface elements to create a confident, decisive and recognisable appearance appealing to more youthful consumers”.

The current three-box Corolla is one of the oldest models in the Toyota line-up, having been launched in Australia in 2007.

No powertrains have been announced for the new Corolla sedan, but it is likely to feature the same 1.8-litre 103kW/173Nm four-cylinder petrol engine as the hatch. A diesel is unlikely due to limited take-up in small cars to date, and nor is a hybrid, due to the crossover with the Prius line-up.

The hatch and sedan are expected to comprise the entire Australian Corolla range, with Europe’s wagon off the agenda here due to cost and potential crossover with the Prius V wagon.

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