Sharpened looks, stiffer body, more power... who are you and what have you done with the real Corolla?
A raft of details and images for the upcoming 2019 Toyota Corolla have been handed down today, in advance of the new hatchback's August launch for the Australian market.
The new hatch was first unveiled at the Geneva motor show earlier this month, in the form of the European-market Auris – specifically in hybrid guise - but it's next week's New York motor show that will stand out as the bigger event for Toyota's now iconic small car.
Along with its sharper and more imposing exterior design, a number of key details were revealed in Geneva, including its overall dimensions.
To refresh, those numbers include an increase of 40mm for overall length at 4370mm, while the wheelbase has likewise grown 40mm to a new 2640mm – although this still falls short of the Mazda 3's 2700mm footprint.
Overall width is up 30mm to 1790mm, while height has been reduced by 25mm to 1435mm for a more accentuated sporting look.
Tonight's release gives the world its first look at the new Corolla's cabin, revealing a fairly conventional and contemporary dash design that will likely prove timeless in its simplicity for some buyers, and quickly outdated for others.
A large 'floating' display sits atop the dash, bringing the Corolla in line with the tablet trend that – love it, hate it or shrug at it – has taken over the market in recent years. Check out our photo gallery and you'll note the American model has Apple CarPlay...
A large screen-based speedometer and driver-info display is centred behind the steering wheel, flanked by conventional gauges and dials. In the American-market model shown here, that centre instrument screen is a 7.0-inch unit, while lower-end models get a 4.2-inch display.
The dash itself is of a semi-floating design, jutting out over the slim centre console. Satin silver and gloss black highlights abound in the blue American-market 'XSE' sports model shown here, matched to well-bolstered seats with a combination black 'leather' and grey fabric upholstery.
Interior comfort has also been overhauled, in particular through a lower hip point for front-row occupants for a more natural posture and position. The longer wheelbase and wider design should also improve comfort and capacity, although Toyota hasn't specified any interior space numbers yet.
Also confirmed sometime ago is that the 2019 Corolla is built on the Toyota New Generation Architecture (TNGA), which has received high praise in CarAdvice reviews, featuring as it does in the new C-HR compact SUV, the new Prius and the new Camry.
Toyota says its new platform makes the next-generation Corolla some 60 per-cent stiffer than its predecessor, and a comprehensive chassis makeover should add to that.
Tweaks in that department include a new MacPherson strut design up front, packing "new coil spring rates and damping forces, plus reduced friction in sliding parts".
Out back, there's a new multi-link setup with a stabiliser bar, along with relocated lower arms and shock absorbers – both for better higher-speed manoeuvring (are we still talking about a Corolla?) and more cargo space.
More, the new car's centre of gravity is 20mm lower, thanks in big part to a liberal use of aluminium and high-strength steel in the body. Even the tailgate figures in that equation, being made from Toyota Super Olefin Polymer and Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene for extra light-weighting.
Petrol models in the new Corolla range will be powered by Toyota's new naturally-aspirated M20A-FKS 2.0-litre Dynamic Force engine, revealed in February as a smaller and lighter replacement for the 1.8-litre mill currently used.
The company hasn't revealed Corolla-specific figures today, but the earlier technology release confirms 126kW of power and 205Nm of torque.
Highlights of the new unit include Toyota's adaptive D-4S system that combines high-pressure direct injection and low-pressure port injection. VVT-iE features at the intake end – using an electric motor rather than oil pressure to control valve timing – while VVT-i is equipped at the exhaust.
A longer stroke and a higher 13.0:1 compression ratio are also among the standout features, along with a lighter timing chain, a more rigid crank case, a lighter cylinder head and a ribbed oil pan.
Depending on the model – and Toyota is yet to specify – the new Corolla will be offered with either a new six-speed manual or a '10-speed' Dynamic Shift CVT automatic with sport mode and paddle shifters.
Interestingly, with that CVT, Toyota claims "the world's first launch gear in a passenger vehicle", meaning initial acceleration occurs with a gear drive before switching to the belt drive one expects with a CVT. (This video explains it well.)
A hybrid model will again feature, using the 1.8-litre system from the Prius – rather than the 2.0-litre Toyota Hybrid System II described in February.
Standard advanced safety technologies include a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, active cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beam, seven airbags and a reversing camera.
Click through to our photo gallery for more images of the new Corolla, inside and out.
The new Corolla will hit Australia in August. Pricing and specifications should be revealed closer to launch.