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Toyota unveils Japan-only Corolla

Not for Oz: The Japanese-market Corolla Axio sedan is not destined for Australia but its styling could provide a preview of the car that eventually emerges in local showrooms.

Next-generation Toyota Corolla styling previewed by Japan-only sedan and wagon

14 May 2012

TOYOTA has launched a redesigned Corolla sedan and wagon in its domestic market, with styling that could provide clues to what the next generation of the Australian-delivered car will look like.

The new Corolla will arrive in Australia as a hatchback first, and is expected to be launched around the time of the Sydney motor show in October, but no date has yet been confirmed for the sedan.

Toyota Australia public relations manager Mike Breen told GoAuto the cars revealed in Japan are for domestic sale only and that an Australian Design Rule approval document filed for a new Corolla model last month was probably for a special edition due for release later this year.

He explained the staggered launch of hatch and sedan Corollas was due to the hatch being renamed Auris in some overseas markets and the sedan being treated as a separate model.

The new Japanese-market Corolla Axio and Fielder feature an angular headlight design similar to the Australian-built Camry sedan, and an image supplied of the sportier-looking Fielder Aerotourer wagon reveals a family resemblance with the Camry Atara.

A unique chrome grille – unlikely to appeal to Australian tastes – on the more conservative Axio sedan is likely to be a feature of the flagship Luxel variant.

The Axio is sold in Japan with a choice of 1.3-litre and 1.5-litre petrol engines with five-speed manual or CVT (continuously variable transmission) auto, and the Fielder gets 1.5-litre and 1.8-litre petrol units with the same transmission choices.

On both models, the 1.5-litre and 1.8-litre engines come with a choice of front-drive or all-wheel-drive.

Toyota has reduced the length of the Axio by 50mm and the Fielder by 60mm compared with their predecessors, but claims to have increased rear-seat knee room by 40mm while increasing the length of the Fielder’s luggage compartment by 90mm.

Higher-spec variants get luxury features such as heated and cooled ventilated front seats, self-folding mirrors and humidity-controlled air-conditioning.

Now close to runout, Australian sales of the Corolla are down 0.8 per cent year-to-date, with 12,067 units having left showrooms.

Toyota sales are up 3.9 per cent overall in Australia as the company recovers from last year’s Japanese earthquake and tsunami, plus the effects of widespread flooding in Thailand.

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