Brace yourself; the new Toyota Corolla is coming...
Hey, remember that Toyota Corolla Furia concept that debuted at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show earlier this year? Of course, you do. It was the highly stylized preview of what the next Corolla would look like.
Well, the next Corolla has arrived with the unveiling of the 2014 Toyota Corolla sedan. From the looks of the photos released today by Toyota, the production car keeps many of the broad strokes established by the concept intact.
Like the concept, the 2014 Corolla's face is dominated by a large, frowning lower intake that feeds the radiator and a smaller upper intake that integrates with the Camry-inspired headlamps. From this angle, the car sort of looks like Grumpy Cat.
Things are less aggressive at the rear end with a valance and tail-lamp treatment that seems inspired by the design of the 2013 Toyota Avalon's rump. The angular bend of the roofline and the abrupt vertical creases at the corners come straight from the Furia concept.
Thrifty drivers will be interested in the new LE Eco trim level, which is powered by a 140-horsepower, 1.8-liter engine. Making use of the latest generation of the automaker's variable valve timing tech and putting its power through a continuously variable transmission, the Eco is the most efficient variant of the 2014 Corolla.
The Corolla S trim level sticks to the "gaping maw of black plastic" school of sporty design language. The result is more aggressive -- and even closer in line with the aesthetic of the concept -- but it's also just a hair generic.
All 2014 Corolla models feature a 106.3-inch wheelbase that's longer than the current generation's, with shorter overhangs. Toyota says that it's pushed the wheels out toward the car's corners for a sportier appearance, but the increase in wheelbase nearly matches the increase in overall length: the car is simply longer and larger. The upshot of this is that the 2014 model gains nearly 3 inches of rear legroom.
The S's interior makes use of darker Softex materials and, if you look closely, switches from a three-gauge instrument cluster to a two-gauge setup with a central LCD. This Corolla S is equipped with the CVT -- which features a manual shift mode with seven virtual gears -- but a manual transmission is also available.
The S model also features a Sport mode that sharpens the responsiveness of the throttle for a livelier driving feel. LE Eco models feature an Eco mode that does the opposite in the name of fuel savings.
Toyota mentions that the 2014 Corolla will be available with dashboard apps, but doesn't specifically name its Entune infotainment system, which is odd. The automaker also makes no mention of navigation, although it's clearly visible in the released interior photos.