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Toyota has taken the wraps off its new Corolla hatch, revealing a sleek, sporty new look for the latest generation of the world’s best-selling car.

The latest Corolla goes on sale in Japan today, just two months ahead of its local unveiling at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney.

Although Corolla has been a mainstay of the Japanese car industry since 1966, the latest model is the outcome of extensive research and evaluation in Europe.

Toyota’s focus on European buying preferences – which are broadly similar to Australian tastes – has delivered edgier styling and a lower centre of gravity to further improve its dynamic performance.

The Euro-inspired exterior design combines smooth-flowing surfaces with sweeping character lines to provide the sense of agility expected in the small hatch segment.

The new Corolla also brings fresh interior treatments with clever packaging that liberates more space for occupants and their luggage.

Australian buyers will be offered the most powerful Corolla petrol engine – a revised 1.8-litre unit that develops more power.

Toyota Australia’s executive director sales and marketing Matthew Callachor said motorists around the world will appreciate the new Corolla beyond the traditional Toyota strengths of quality, durability, reliability, safety and fuel efficiency.

“The strong European influence on the new Corolla embraces the spirit of ‘waku-doki’ – a car that is fun to own and drive due to its sharp styling as well as its responsive acceleration, accurate steering, engaging drive and excellent ride comfort,” Mr Callachor said.

Australia was the first destination for Corolla exports and quickly established itself as Toyota’s most popular model in this country.

So far, almost 1.2 million Corolla hatches and sedans have been sold here – accounting for one-fifth of all Toyota vehicles bought by Australians in the past 50 years.

Of these, more than 666,000 or 56 per cent were built in Australia between 1967 and 1999. Corolla is now fully imported from Japan.

Local Corolla sales last year totalled just over 36,000. Sales to the end of July this year are more than 20 per cent higher compared with the same period last year.


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