The year 2020 started with all the celebrations globally, but things changed very quickly. The well-known word which is now on everyone’s lips is COVID-19, a pandemic that has played havoc around the globe.
It has not only taken hundreds and thousands of lives but also disrupted almost every other business entity in one way or another, and the automotive sector has been on top of the list.
We here in Pakistan had an already troubling car sector because of inconsistent government policies, rising car prices, inflation, and many other factors. COVID-19 was the icing on the cake.
When it comes to cars like Corolla and Civic, everyone gets excited to know something new about them. Corolla is Toyota’s bread and butter with sales in over 150 countries that contribute a total of 20% of sales of the entire company. According to Toyota, there are 16 Corolla assembly plants worldwide, and over 46 Million units have been sold to date, since the first generation.
Regardless of the slowdown in the Pakistani auto sector, there are still developments going on like, for example, back in March, Toyota Indus revealed the most anticipated Toyota Yaris sedan. Hyundai is near its official launch of Tucson and Elantra, while some new entrants are also working on their releases as well.
Now recently, a camouflaged vehicle is seen on the roads of Pakistan, which is making headlines on social media and among automotive enthusiasts. The vehicle hiding its identity under black and white striped wrap is non-other than the upcoming 12th Generation Toyota Corolla.
In this article, we will quickly go over what we know so far about the upcoming Corolla. Our assumptions and expectations will be on the basis of the data we have from various sources, including the Corolla version currently available in the ASEAN region.
The new Corolla 2020 is based on Toyota’s new global platform known as TNGA, “Toyota New Global Architecture,” GA-C to be specific for compact vehicles. This modular platform is currently being used by the number of current-generation Toyota models like Prius as well as the C-HR.
The new Corolla is slightly longer [+10mm ] and wider [+5mm ] than the previous generation. It has the same wheelbase as the 11th generation Corolla but the new model is lower than the past. The Corolla is 4,640mm long, 1,780mm wide with a wheelbase of 2,700mm. According to Toyota, the new Corolla has a wider front.
As of the height of the new Corolla, it varies between 1435mm to 1455mm depending upon the variant. The Thai Corolla, which Pakistan normally follows, has a height of 1435mm for the conventional petrol version, which makes it about 1.5″ lower than the 11th generation Corolla.
A Pakistani version of Corolla or even Civic always gets a slightly increased ground clearance, which changes the overall height when compared with international variants, and we can expect the same for the new Corolla. For reference, if we take the Thai Corolla at 1435mm, the 12th Gen Corolla is only 2mm higher than the PK Civic.
We can expect the same styling of Corolla as found in Thailand or other ASEAN countries for the Pakistan Domestic Model. Although the New Corolla is a global model, there is still a slight difference between the models offered in different markets like North American vs. European/ ASEAN versions.
Besides the minor difference found at the front fascia and a slightly different outlook at the rear, the rest of the car is identical inside and out.
On the front, the design of the headlights is a major difference between the different versions of Corolla in the South Asian region. The projector headlamps remain standard, but the headlight has either a double or the triple ” J” DRL wrapped around the headlights housing. We can expect the triple “J” type headlights for the PK version of Corolla.
The availability of standard projector headlights will be something for Corolla in Pakistan. We can expect the top variant with LED that we currently see on the 11th generation, Toyota Grande.
As for the rest of the design, on the side profile, we can see a new glass panel at A-pillar where the side view mirrors are mounted. On the rear door, we will see new trapezoidal glass panels, unlike a triangular shape, which is on the previous Corolla sedan. Both these new window panels at the front and rear door area will increase visibility and openness within the car.
The front and rear doors get curved lower edges, which gives the car a sporty look. There are newly designed side view mirrors with integrated turn signals. At the rear end, there are newly designed LED taillights and bumper as well.
Newer style trunk lid with connecting trim between two tail lights gives new Corolla an elegant look. Overall the 12th generation Corolla has an improvement on the exterior compared to the past generation.
“Malaysian/ Thai Corolla Pictured for reference ONLY ”
The Interior of the new Corolla is a revolutionary design and follows the rest of the Toyota lineup. As of interior, all variants carry the identical interior design regardless of region BUT obviously with the difference in options and features.
The new Corolla get’s a 7″ digital cluster on the higher variant of the Corolla sedan, and the driver is able to select between analog and digital speedometer styles.
In Thailand, this version of the cluster is available only on the top of the line Altis Hybrid version only while the rest of Thai models gets a conventional needle-type analog cluster with a 4.2-inch Multi-Information Display (MID) integrated into the cockpit.
In Malaysia, the digital cluster is available even on the 1.8G non-Hybrid variant, but Malaysian models are always more equipped compared to the models offered in other countries in the ASEAN region.
It is too early to say if the PK version of Corolla will get the fully digital instrumental cluster on any of its variants, but this will be something of interest to look for. For now, we can hope and wish.
As for the rest of the interior, we can expect digital automatic climate control on top variant while the lower variants will get the knob-type selectors. Rear vents might also be available on top variants in Pakistan.
The Thai Corolla also has EPB/ Electronic Parking Brake instead of a conventional lever-type handbrake, and that would be something new for PK Corolla if it is made available for it. The base variant in Pakistan might still come with a lever-type parking brake.
Features like cruise control, Power driver seat, sunroof, push-button start, power-retractable side view mirrors, and other convenience and comfort features as generically found will be available on the 12th generation Pakistani Corolla, but obviously, their availability will depend on the trim level.
The new corolla’s main interior design feature is the centrally placed floating/ tablet-style head unit over the AC vents and climate control. We will see the same in Pakistan, but technology-wise there will be some differences.
The Thai and other regional models get a Toyota’s proprietary 8″ touch screen head-unit with Toyota own developed software which is capable of cell phone integration. The base versions of Corolla get a smaller size conventional LCD radio with Bluetooth and USB connectivity. We will see the same basic unit on the base version of Corolla in Pakistan.
A Pakistani version of 11th generation Corolla currently gets an android based head-unit, and it is typical for all locally assembled vehicles. We can expect the same for the 12th generation Corolla in Pakistan with locally developed hardware and software integrated into the tablet-style head-unit enclosure.
Navigation will be available as always, but the availability of the CD ROM might not be an option due to the design of the new head-unit. With this new floating tablet-style, swapping the head-unit or its related things with any high-end aftermarket unit will now get complicated.
Internationally, Corolla gets standard multi-function steering wheels with audio controls and other functions for connected phones. We might not see all the options in the PKDM Corolla steering wheel.
This is the area where we have some solid info. For now, we know that there will be two engine options for the 12th generation Corolla in Pakistan, unlike the 11th generation, which had three during its life cycle. The 1.3L engine was discontinued for Corolla recently to make room for the Yaris sedan.
For the 12th, the first one is the same as the previous Corolla, a 1.8L (2ZR-FAE) 4 Cylinder engine. Toyota, on the international launch, mentions that although this engine is from the previous generation Corolla, some refinements have been done with improved and better efficiency.
In the 11th generation, the same engine produces up to 138hp. The second conventional petrol engine in Pakistan would be a 1ZR-FE, a 1.6L engine that is also offered in 11th generation Corolla in certain markets, including Pakistan. This carryover engine will make around 120 to 125 hp. In Thailand, there is also a third engine option, which is a 1.8L 2ZR-FXE, which produced 121hp.
Corolla is also available with a hybrid badge. The hybrid Corolla’s heart and soul are the same as what is found under Prius. Technologically it is the same power-plant that powers the current 4th generation of Prius. It is too early to say if Toyota Indus would bring a Hybrid version for the Pakistani market.
In Europe, the US, and certain other markets, there is also an engine option of 2.0L (M20A-FKS). This is the same engine offered in Corolla hatchback or Corolla sedan variant. This produces 169hp and 204NM of peak torque at 4,800 rpm. As this engine option is not available in Thailand, we can safely eliminate it from our expectations.
Toyota promises that a wider and lower stance gives the car much better driving dynamics. The new platform gives Corolla a quiet and comfortable ride with reduced road noise. The vehicles which are offered locally in Pakistan normally have high ground clearance, as we discussed above in this article.
Honda Civic, which is always being criticized locally for being too low, although the 10th generation Civic in Pakistan has around 23 mm height, which is higher compared to the international model. 12th generation Corolla with lower ground clearance as per new design might get some tweaks when offered locally in Pakistan. Changing these dimensions do change driving dynamics, and we have to see if such a thing happens with PKDM Corolla.
Corolla’s suspension system always got bad criticism. There is fully revised and updated MacPherson strut front suspension while Toyota killed the conventional torsion beam setup from the rear. Toyota has blessed the new Corolla with a brand new multi-link rear suspension with stabilizing bars.
It also added newly developed shock absorbers to provide better and optimized damping force for better handling, stability, and ride comfort. We can expect the same suspension system for the upcoming Pakistani Corolla. We need to see how Toyota Indus implements the suspension system for locally produced Corolla. I expect we will see the same setup but with increased ground clearance.
Power-assisted rack-and-pinion, Electric Power Steering (EPS) will come in all Corollas for the 12th generation as standard all across the trim levels. 16″ Alloy wheels on top version while 15″ on the lower variants are expected. Thai Corolla is also offered with 17″ wheels, and I hope we see it at least on the top variant, which will replace the Altis Grande.
As of transmission, the same hardware setup of CVT as in 11th generation Corolla will be used, but with the software upgrade for better shift points is expected. There is no confirmation, but I think the 1.8L will be offered only with the CVT.
There is no news about the manual transmission, but we can expect it on the 1.6L version. The 1.6L variant might also be offered with CVT this time, unlike the 4 speed Auto as offered in the 11th generation in Pakistan.
When it comes to this topic, the Pakistani version always lacks features when compared with international models. Toyota is offering improved standard safety equipment in the case of the recently released Yaris sedan, which gives us some direction. We can predict that the 12th generation of Corolla will have standard Vehicle Stability Control across its entire line up/ trim levels.
4 wheels disc brakes will also be standard as well as the ABS, Hill-start assists, traction control, EBD, etc. As of airbags, it’s early to say, but as always, frontal 2 airbags will for sure be there, and I hope and we see the side/ curtain airbags as well for the Corolla in Pakistan, although my expectations might nor bring fruit in this regard.
Although Toyota is now offering active safety features like lane departure, blind-spot monitoring, Tire pressure monitoring system, parking sensors, rear traffic alert system on top of the line version in Thailand, availability of these features in Pakistani Corolla has very little probability, but at least we can wish.
EXPECTED LAUNCH/ PRICING :
Because of the ongoing pandemic Covid-19 crisis, the entire auto industry suffered badly globally, and almost all car companies have a hard time meeting sales targets as well as other items in their pipeline, including the research, development, and launch of the new models are being delayed.
The Pakistani car industry is more of assembly line rather an actual development of a product, and as the 12th generation Corolla is already launched in other regions, implementations of the new product are rather quick for us although we should keep in mind that the 12th generation Corolla is entirely on the new platform and major plant upgrades and updates are required for the assembly.
The camouflaged vehicle seen publicly on the roads is the first indication that we are near the official launch. We can’t predict the timeline at this point, but we can assume that the 12th generation Corolla might be officially released later this year or early next year.
After a discussion with various experts and enthusiasts who follow the local car industry very keenly, they predict the release somewhat in September/ October of 2020.
The next big questions are pricing. Its again unpredictable at this time, but looking at the past trends, we can expect an increase in price for all the variants for the upcoming Corolla. I would not be surprised to see the price of the fully-loaded top variant of Corolla jumping over the PKR 4 Million fences.
The upcoming financial budget will also help us predict some numbers. The head to a head competitor of Corolla, which is Civic, is still at least 2 years away from its 11th generation, which would mean that the 12th generation Corolla will become a limelight attraction.
We will keep our readers up to date with any development on this subject as soon as we get it. Stay Tuned!