Monday, November 15, 2010

More post on New Toyota Corolla Altis 2010

A supertanker is huge and long and changing course takes a while. Toyota has often been compared to this mega seagoing vessel because it has not always been quick in changing strategies or coming out with new product developments. This is not to say that the company is not innovative but its size does not permit it to be nimble like smaller companies which can react more quickly to market situations. But once Toyota has made the decision to 'change course' or respond to a market condition, it does so with 'forcefully' and that's what rivals fear.

The midterm revision to the Corolla could be considered an example of Toyota's 'course change' to restore the class-leading position of the model. Among the best-selling models in the world in terms of sheer numbers produced since it was introduced in 1966, the Corolla is no longer No. 1 in Japan (a position it held for decades) and in most markets, it is also not as dominant as it used to be. Many believe it continues to be popular more because it is a Toyota than because it is a Corolla.

The major upgrade for the current Corolla generation, to be launched in Malaysia at the end of this month, is under the bonnet where a new engine series is introduced across the range and extended to include a 2-litre variant. The ZZ series is replaced by the new all-aluminium ZR series that has dual variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and Acoustic Control Induction System (ACIS) to enhance performance across the engine speed range (but the 1.6-litre version does not have ACIS). While the 1.6-litre version (120 ps, 154Nm of torque) continues with a 4-speed automatic transmission, the new 1.8-litre (140 ps, 174Nm of torque) and 2.0-litre (147 ps, 187Nm of torque) Corollas get a 7-speed continuously-variable transmission (Super CVT-i).

Dual VVT-i is an advancement of VVT-i as it provides continuously variable valve timing on the exhaust valves as well. As most readers will know, variable valve timing (VVT) controls valve opening and closing so as to optimize power output and enhance fuel efficiency. Most VVT systems operate only on the intake side but the more expensive cars have had dual VVT for some time. In Toyota's case, the enhanced mechanism was first used in the 1998 Toyota Altezza (Lexus IS) and then became commonplace in the high-end Toyota models and all Lexus models.

The Super CVT-i for the new Corolla 1.8/2.0 is made by a Toyota subsidiary and is said to be a robust steel-belted unit with a fully-electronic hydraulic system.

The exterior looks are unchanged except for the usual alterations in areas like the grille, bumpers and rear lights. In a further effort to 'liven up' the image of the Corolla, a sportier styling theme was used. The Corolla 1.8/2.0 have more open alloy rims with 5 spokes instead of 10 spokes and the Corolla 2.0 gets powerful HID headlights with smoked bezel treatment. A slim rear spoiler is also fitted for this top version.

The interior layout is unchanged but unlike the exterior attempt at sportiness, the cabin has been given more refinement to add a 'luxurious feel'. The wood trim used is said to give a sense of 'real wood' with a darker, less glossy finish. The cheaper versions have fabric upholstery while the two top versions (1.8G/2.0V) have perforated leather.

The steering wheel is changed to the 3-spoke flat-bottomed type (rather like the one in the LF-A supercar) for the Corolla 2.0V which also gets cruise control. This version as well as the 1.8-litre versions have audio control buttons on the steering wheel.
The Optitron instrument panel (1.8G/2.0V) has the same looks but the graphics are slightly changed to give a more '3D' appearance. Illumination has been changed from character illumination to illumination of the whole meter surface. There's also a little ECO light which helps the driver to operate the Corolla more economically.

ESTIMATED PRICES (with insurance and roadtax)
1.6E- RM105,990
1.8E- RM112,990
1.8G- RM122,990
2.0V- RM131,990

Source: Autocar Asean & Motor Trader

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