Toyota Corolla S2000 Rally Car world debut
Toyota Australia today delivered a stunning series of world and Australian firsts at the Melbourne International Motor Show. The Australian market leader set the pace at the show by displaying:
- the world's first TRD production-car brand
- the world's first production TRD Aurion
- the world's first TRD HiLux Concept, and
- the world's first new-model Corolla Super 2000 rally car.
The company's motor show stand also included three Australian firsts - the motor-show debuts of the new Euro-styled Corolla hatch, the sophisticated new Corolla sedan and the next-generation Kluger sports-utility vehicle. Toyota Australia's senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said the company's array of motor-show firsts confirmed 2007 would be one of the busiest years on record for Toyota new-model launches.
"Toyota will launch nine new models into seven vehicle segments this year - including the vehicles having their world or Australian debuts at the Melbourne show," Mr Buttner said. "By the end of November, Toyota will have replaced or updated almost its entire model line-up in the space of just three years," he said. "It is this constant flow of new and improved vehicles, manufactured both locally and overseas to meet and exceed customer demands, that is behind Toyota's success as market leader."
Mr Buttner said this is a world-first TRD vehicle brand and would add a new dimension to Toyota in Australia.
"TRD differs from its key competitors in the local enhanced-performance market because it will develop a range of vehicles, not just variations based on one car. TRD will increase the desirability of Toyota vehicles by drawing on the company's 50-year motorsport heritage to design and engineer a range of complete performance vehicles. This is the first time in the world TRD had been established as a separate brand under Toyota."
The TRD Aurion, slated for sale from the third quarter of this year, will feature a supercharged 3.5-litre V6 engine pumping out at least 235kW. A production model based on the TRD HiLux Concept - a 4WD Double Cab - will hit the market later in the year. Its supercharged 4.0-litre V6 engine will lift power substantially above the standard engine's 175kW. Engineering development and design for these vehicles have been carried out entirely by Toyota Australia, with final assembly carried out by supplier Prodrive.
Toyota's other world-first debut in Melbourne is the striking new Corolla rally car that will compete in the Super 2000 championship this year. Team leader Neal Bates and 2006 Australian Rally Champion Simon Evans said they would each be driving the new 2.0-litre four-cylinder naturally aspirated car competitively for the first time at the Rally of Canberra in June.
"The dynamics are a lot better than our old car because it is so much lighter - and the sound of the engine revving up to 8,500rpm is amazing," Bates said. The rally car is based on the new Euro-styled Corolla hatch that is making its Australian motor-show debut on the Toyota stand - along with the sleek and sophisticated new-model Corolla sedan. Longer, wider and with more interior space, both Corollas will feature a more powerful 1.8-litre four-cylinder dual VVT-i petrol engine. Corolla is Australia's most popular small car and last month was the top-selling vehicle in the country - a feat it achieved twice last year.
Toyota has also chosen Melbourne to stage the first outing in Australia for the next-generation Kluger. Longer, wider and taller than the current model, it will - for the first time - be available in 2WD as well as all-wheel-drive versions. Next-generation Kluger is expected to develop around 200kW from its dual VVT-i 3.5-litre V6 engine - making it the most powerful naturally aspirated V6 medium SUV in Australia. Offering more interior space with the options of five or seven seats, it is due to go on sale in the third quarter of this year.
Toyota Kluger offers more space and 2wd models
Toyota Australia's next-generation Kluger is poised for substantial sales growth in the medium SUV segment with two-wheel drive models available for the first time. The new Kluger is longer and wider than the vehicle it replaces, with more dynamic exterior styling and increased interior space and flexibility. It is powered by a quad-cam 3.5-litre dual VVT-i V6 engine, which is new to the Kluger and will deliver around 200kW.
The next-generation Kluger is making its Australian debut at the Melbourne International Motor Show, just three weeks after its world debut in Chicago. It will be launched in Australia in the third quarter 2007 in both all-wheel drive and two-wheel drive configurations. Kluger is currently available in all-wheel drive only. Toyota Australia's senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said the upcoming Kluger adds a new dimension to the medium SUV market.
"Next-generation Kluger has modern and energetic styling, which gives it an advanced, forceful and dynamic personality," Mr Buttner said. "Its bigger dimensions translate into more room for up to seven passengers who will appreciate a noticeably quieter interior with improved versatility and ride comfort. We believe there is significant demand for both two-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions of a vehicle with the performance, dynamic looks and roomy interior of Kluger. The new two-wheel drive models will broaden Kluger's appeal and further increase Toyota sales in the medium SUV segment."
Next-generation Kluger was sculpted by Calty Design Research in California - giving it clean, crisp lines with a wide stance and muscular contours. The new vehicle is 95mm longer, 85mm wider and 25mm higher than the current model, while the wheelbase has been increased by 75mm.
Interior designers took advantage of Kluger's increased dimensions to deliver an open and airy interior with more space for passengers and luggage, as well as innovative features and flexible seating. The new Kluger will offer five or seven seats in a 2-3-2 configuration.
Kluger's 3.5-litre all-alloy dual VVT-i V6 engine has been designed for fuel efficiency as well as smooth performance. It is matched to an electronically controlled automatic transmission. The engine is transversely mounted, which allows maximum package efficiency within the vehicle's overall length of 4785mm.
All new Corolla sedan
The all-new sedan version of the world's best-selling nameplate, Corolla, is on display for the first time in Australia at the Melbourne International Motor Show. Toyota will launch the distinctive sedan in the second quarter of 2007 alongside a stylish new hatch. The Corolla nameplate will be retained for both body styles - its 10th generation since the Corolla was first sold in Australia 40 years ago. Built on a new platform, the Corolla sedan is designed to appeal to customers seeking a classic sedan with dynamic styling and driving pleasure.
Toyota Australia's senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said the sedan offers a superior combination of comfort, space and innovation. "The all-new Corolla sedan has dynamic styling with a sense of luxury and quality, providing a strong road presence," Mr Buttner said. "It offers excellent driving dynamics due to a renewed focus on driver involvement and appeal. It features a powerful new engine and delivers improved stability, responsive handling and precise steering control."
The Corolla sedan has an all-new 1.8-litre dual VVT-i engine and availability of up to seven SRS airbags. Australia is the only major market for the new engine. The sedan is 65mm wider and 150mm longer than the current model while the overall height has been reduced by 5mm. Corolla sedan's sleek, dynamic look is enhanced by the increased overall length, low roof profile and slim pillars. The base of the A-pillar has been moved forward and the larger boot space is now integrated with the slope of the rear pillars.
Maximum interior space and a premium quality passenger environment are key features of the all-new Corolla. Advances in packaging efficiency combined with the new exterior dimensions have increased leg and headroom.
Corolla hatch to have wider appeal
Toyota Australia is targeting a younger market with its all-new Corolla hatch, which is making its Australian debut at the Melbourne International Motor Show. The Corolla hatch was styled in Europe to appeal to image-conscious younger buyers as well as Corolla's loyal customer base. Built on an all-new platform, it offers improved space, comfort, safety and feature levels. Toyota will launch the all-new Corolla hatch and sedan in Australia in the second quarter of 2007, retaining the Corolla nameplate for both body styles.
The dynamic design and striking features of the hatch are due to the "inside out" philosophy adopted by designers. This approach focused on providing maximum useable interior space with high levels of passenger comfort. Innovative interior features include an elegant, sculpted console that raises the gear lever and other controls to the perfect ergonomic height.
On the outside, the hatch has a strong, dynamic appearance that expresses its driving character. The wide body and track give a stable look and the sharply defined architecture of the car creates a crisp, fresh feel. Power will come from an all-new 1.8-litre dual VVT-i engine, which can be matched to a new six-speed manual transmission. Australia is the only major market for the all-new 1.8-litre Corolla dual VVT-i engine.
Toyota Australia's senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said the dynamic style of the all-new hatch will appeal to a new generation of buyers as well as loyal Corolla customers. "The energy and freshness of the Corolla hatch will make it a style-leader that will attract a wider range of customers," Mr Buttner said. "All owners will appreciate the performance, handling and innovative technology of this automotive icon. It will also have the quality, space, safety and technology that customers have come to expect from Toyota."
The all-new Corolla hatch is 45mm longer and 65mm wider than the current-generation model. Front and rear tracks have been increased by 44mm and 62mm respectively.
Advances in packaging efficiency, combined with the new exterior dimensions, provide increased leg and headroom and significantly increased luggage space. High-tech features include the availability of Smart Entry and Push Button Start and up to seven airbags. Body rigidity has been significantly increased as part of Corolla's GOA (Global Outstanding Assessment) passive safety design criteria.
Toyota unveils stunning new rally car
Toyota has revealed its new Corolla rally car at the Melbourne International Motor Show. The striking new race car will be the world's first new model Corolla homologated to the FIA's Super 2000 (S2000) specifications. The S2000 category was developed by the FIA to allow manufacturers to build relatively inexpensive rally cars using a common, controlled formula.
S2000's introduction will see the end of Toyota's Group N Prototype Corolla rally car - the vehicle that delivered the manufacturer first and second in the 2006 NEC Australian Rally Championship, as well as the manufacturers' championship.
The common elements to S2000 include engines, gearboxes and weight restrictions. The TRD team is developing the 2.0-litre four-cylinder naturally aspirated 3SGE engine for the new car. Providing approximately 190kW of power and 240Nm of torque, the engine revs to a high limit of 8500rpm. The car's pace is enhanced by its low specified weight - a mere 1150 kilograms. The SADEV six-speed sequential gearbox is another controlled element of the S2000 specification. TRD-specific components on the new car include MCA shock absorbers built by Murray Coote, and an AP Racing brake package with four spot callipers front and rear, with 300mm rotors.
"I'm a big fan of the Super 2000 category," said TRD team boss Neal Bates. "The dynamics are a lot better than our old car because it is so much lighter and it will provide us with the opportunity to compete on the world stage in the Asia-Pacific rounds of the World Rally Championship. The S2000 category will also allow for the development of controlled parts for all manufacturers which will ultimately provide lower costs. Apart from this, the sound of the engine revving up to 8500rpm is amazing.
We have been very encouraged by our first tests in the development car - the Group N (P) car had reached a plateau in terms of development, but it is exciting for us to try and make this new one as fast as possible."
2006 Australian Rally Champion Simon Evans cannot wait to get hold of the new car in competition. "It is a great-looking car," he said. "The shape of the new Corolla and the new livery are really striking. There is still a lot of development to go to have it right for the Rally of Canberra, but our test times have been competitive. I think S2000 has all the ingredients to appeal to both manufacturers and motorsport fans - particularly when they hear the cars howling through the forest."
Simon and Sue Evans will drive the current shape Group N (P) Corolla at the first two rounds of the Australian Rally Championship in Queensland and Western Australia. Neal Bates and Coral Taylor will run these events in a current shape S2000 development car - converted from a Group N (P) Corolla. It is expected that two brand-new Corolla S2000 rally cars will be debuted during Round 3 of the championship in Canberra.