Sharp looks: tick! Sharp handling: TBC

The all-new Toyota Corolla has today made its debut at the Geneva international motor show, kick-starting a new generation for the brand's best-selling car.

The twelfth-generation Toyota Corolla will arrive in Australia around August, and presents a larger, better-featured offering than its predecessor in the highly competitive small car market. Since 1967, 1.4 million Corollas have been sold in Australia.

From the outside, the new Corolla carries forward the current Toyota design philosophies of ‘Under Priority’ and ‘Keen Look’ or, as we would refer to them, ‘far more exciting than before’.

The new Corolla sees a 40mm increase in overall length, facilitated by an extended wheelbase. It sits 30mm wider and 25mm lower than before, while it has seen its cowl height reduced by 47mm.

The front overhang is reduced by 20mm, offset by an equal increase at the rear, though Toyota is keen to point out the muscular rear wheel arches and their extra visual punch.

Much like the latest Prius, the new Corolla is based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, which brings a strong focus on dynamics, handling and comfort with its lower centre of gravity and stronger the body shell. Like the Prius, the Corolla makes use of a multi-link rear suspension.

Although full details of the Corolla’s safety systems are yet to be finalised for our market, Toyota Australia has confirmed all models will feature a suite of safety technologies that includes autonomous-emergency braking (AEB).

According to Toyota, the 1.8-litre hybrid Corolla will rival the Prius for fuel economy (3.4L/100km) and will see real-world usable all-electric range the company claims could account for up to 50 percent of everyday driving.

Meanwhile, a yet-to-be confirmed naturally-aspirated petrol engine with direct injection will offer ‘substantially more power and torque’ as well as better fuel economy than the ageing 1.8-litre unit in the current car.

Toyota Australia’s vice-president sales and marketing, Sean Hanley, believes the new model will change the ownership experience of new Corolla buyers thanks to its improved levels of safety, dynamics and premium offering.

“Corolla hatch is a more premium and stylish car that guarantees a more rewarding driving experience and places a priority on the highest active and passive safety standards,” Hanley said.

“These generational improvements have been made possible through TNGA, which is integral to the company’s mission to build ever-better cars that will excite a new generation of buyers,” he continued.

“At the same time, Corolla retains the proven, dependable and safe reputation that has made it Australia's top-selling car for the past five years in a row.”

It remains to be seen if Toyota will take the initiative of its revitalising sporty character – showcased at the same show with the new Supra - and bring back the likes of the Toyota Corolla Sportivo, or offer other higher-performance variants now it has a capable architecture and platform.

As with previous-generations, the new Toyota Corolla sedan will be follow the hatch’s unveiling in the near future.

Hanley told CarAdvice the new Corolla will be brought in at a 'competitive price' – we suspect it will be close to the current car's kickoff.