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Cambridge-built Corolla does Canada proud
With Hollywood hoopla and a live webcast, Toyota Canada revealed the 2014 Corolla sedan that will be built in Canada for North America.
Staged June 7 at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, Toyota announced production will be based in the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) plant in Cambridge, Ont.
TMMC has been producing Corollas since the first one, a Mica Blue sedan, rolled off the assembly line on November 30, 1988. To date, 1.3 million Corollas have been sold in Canada and it is the most mass produced car in history with more than 40 million and counting.
To date, TMMC has produced more than five million vehicles. The milestones of the two millionth (2004), three millionth (2007), and four millionth (2010) vehicles assembled at TMMC were all Corollas.
More remarkable is the fact that 80 per cent of the Corollas sold in Canada are still on the road.
Seiji Ichii, president and CEO, Toyota Canada Inc., noted that for years the Corolla has been the “rational choice” but now with fresh new styling and improved handling the Corolla will be “easy to love”.
He added tongue-in-cheek, “we’ll offer everything except the colour beige”.
TMMC president, Brian Krinock said, “twenty-five years ago, TMMC started in Cambridge with about 1,000 people.
“Today we are a proud company of more than 7,000, but we still think of ourselves as a small community of passionate and dedicated team members who take great pride in the exceptional vehicles we manufacture.”
He also noted that with the three plants TMMC operates in Cambridge and Woodstock, the company has produced more than 500,000 cars and trucks in 2012, making it the second largest producer of Toyota/Lexus products in the world.
The 2014 Corolla marks the 11th generation and, besides new styling, features a new engine and transmission choices plus upgrades that include LED headlamps as standard, a new audio system with steering wheel audio controls and Bluetooth capability and additional airbags for even better safety.
There will be four models: CE, LE, sporty S and the new Eco that Toyota claims will offer the highest fuel efficiency along with the “most power available in a Corolla”.
The Corolla has two versions of its 1.8-litre DOHC inline four-cylinder with 132 hp and 128 lb/ft of torque on the CE, LE and Sport and 140 hp and 126 lb/ft of torque on the Eco.
Also new on the LE, S and Eco is a new Continuously Variable Transmission CVT) that Toyota calls the CVTi-S (I for intelligent, S for shift) that will have a feel similar to a traditional hydraulic automatic transmission.
The CVTi-S is Toyota’s first pulley-style CVT offered in North America and “will provide a more linear connection between pedal effort and acceleration feel compared to previous CVT designs”.
The new Corolla’s suspension uses a Macpherson strut design for the front with a new, more rigid control arm design.
A torsion beam arrangement is used for the rear. Both suspension layouts have been designed to take advantage of the additional body rigidity to provide improved handling responses and steering control.
While the spring rates on Corolla have been optimized for ride comfort, the S-model features unique coil, damper, and bushing tuning to help offer a sportier driving characteristic. Probably the most noticeable change is in the styling that owes much to the Corolla Furia Concept seen in January at the Detroit Auto Show.
While the 2014 model is 99 mm (3.9 in) longer, it looks more compact thanks to the way the body tapers front and rear and focuses the eyes on the wheel arches.
Helping the overall impression of being more taut in appearance is the switch to narrower LED headlights.
The Corolla is the first compact sedan to offer LED headlights.
Fuel economy is still being finalized as is pricing, both of which will be released by the end of the summer.
-Courtesy Metroland Media