Toyota introduced the 12th generation Corolla hatchback in mid 2018 while the sedan derivatives were introduced in November 2018. Now it seems that finally the 12th gen Corolla is going to be available in Pakistan as a camouflaged test mule was spotted for the first time testing near Islamabad a couple of weeks ago.
Although Toyota Corolla has been a popular car in our market ever since it stepped here back in the late 1960s, and it has been equally popular since the local assembled Corolla came into picture in the early 90s however the 12th gen is going to the different in many ways than what a usual Corolla is known to us. Let us have a look at what to expect from the latest generation of Toyota Corolla sedan in Pakistan.
Measuring 4,640 mm long, 1,780 mm wide and 1,435 mm tall, the new 12th generation Toyota Corolla is 10 mm longer, 5 mm wider and 45 mm lower than the outgoing model, however the 2,700 mm wheelbase remains unchanged.
No more 1300cc Corolla
Ever since it first appeared in Pakistan the Corolla was primarily available with a 1300cc engine among other available engine options. Even when the local assembled version started to roll off the assembly lines, the 1300cc versions contributed to the bulk of Corolla sales. In 2009 the 10th generation Corolla surpassed Suzuki Mehran becoming the bestselling car in Pakistan and again the 1300cc XLi & GLi variants dominated the sales compared to the then 2.0 diesel and 1.6 & 1.8 liter Altis variants.
The popularity of 1300cc Corolla forced Indus Motor Company (IMC) to keep its faith with the 2NZ-FE engine that kept powering the 11th gen Corolla which was introduced here back in 2014. Not many know that Pakistan was the only country in the world where 11th gen Corolla was available with a 1300cc 2NZ-FE engine from the late 90s. And despite a mediocre power-to-weight ratio the Corolla was a popular choice as a 1300cc sedan so much so that IMC posted phenomenal sales figures ever since this generation was introduced in Pakistan with bulk of sales belonging to the 1300cc XLi and GLi variants.
IMC has been able to sell more than 50,000 units of 11th gen Corolla in each fiscal year since 2014, the feat which previously no other car and no other preceding Corolla generation have been able to achieve.
However IMC won’t be able to deploy their tried & tested 2NZ-FE engine with the 12th gen Corolla. Exactly why the Yaris sedan has recently been introduced which is available with 1300cc & 1500cc versions. So yes, in future there won’t be a 1.3 liter Corolla variant any more.
Higher displacement engines only
According to information, the 12th gen Corolla will be available in Altis grades only and will likely carry a 1.6 liter or 1.8 liter engine under its hood. Pakistan sources its parts mostly from Thailand where the new 12th gen Corolla comes with a 1.6 liter 1ZR-FBE engine producing 125 hp and 156 Nm, and a larger 1.8 liter 2ZR-FBE producing 140 hp and 177 Nm; both paired to a CVT gearbox.
Expensive than existing Corolla
The current 11th gen Corolla that was introduced here in 2014 and has approximately 60% localization as claimed, costs from PKR 31.59 lac for the 1.6L Altis M/T to up to PKR 38.99 lac for the flagship 1.8L Altis Grande CVT variant. The 12th gen Corolla with similar localization will cost higher due to the new TNGA platform with most of the parts that can’t be carried forward from the previous model. The new model is likely going to be more expensive than the current Corolla and may fall between PKR 4.0 to PKR 4.8 million (tentative) depending on the engine & variant.
Will no longer be the best selling sedan
And with prices going high the Corolla with higher displacement engines will cater to a specific set of buyers only. Pakistan was Corolla’s biggest market in Asia Pacific region and 4th highest in the world in terms of sales, thanks to the 11th gen Corolla and its 1300cc variants. The 12th gen Corolla will no longer be able to sell in rich numbers such as those achieved by 11th gen Corolla with 1300cc variants present in the lineup.
The 12th gen Corolla is built on an entirely new platform called as TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture). This will also be the first local assembled Toyota car in Pakistan to be built on this platform. Toyota had to convert all of its 16 plants which manufacture Corollas across the globe to the TNGA production setup. While the 12th gen Corolla has already reached most markets, some including Pakistan are yet to get the 12th gen and are in process of upgrading their assembly lines to comply with the TNGA setup.
According to Dr Johan van Zyl, President & CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, the 12th gen Corolla will offer an enhanced driving experience like no other Corolla model produced before.
“The TNGA engineering and design philosophy brings a whole new dimension to our next generation C-segment models. Adding to Corolla’s renowned Quality, Durability and Reliability, it delivers the more emotional values that our customers aspire to, such as a distinctive design, interior refinement, rewarding driving dynamics and powerful yet efficient powertrains.”
What TNGA means to you?
Simply put, TNGA brings a fundamental change to the way Toyota build cars. It allows for flexibility in the manufacturing process, and it also places an emphasis on responsive reactions to fluctuations in the automobile marketplace. For example, instead of needing separate production lines for hybrid and conventional gasoline engines, they can now be created on the same assembly line. Additionally, radiator which used to be installed after the engine is now created as part of the overall engine module.
So, what does all of this mean for everyday drivers? The key thing to keep in mind is that TNGA isn’t only about enhancing production, it’s also about improving vehicle structure and performance capabilities. Some things you can expect to see in Toyota cars built on the TNGA platform include:
- Lower center of gravity to give drivers better handling
- Increased (30 to 65%) chassis stiffness
- Lower cowl in order to give drivers better visibility
- Improved fuel economy
- Improved powertrains for both hybrid and conventional gasoline vehicles
- Reduced emissions
- Better responsive steering
- Better ride quality
Hybrid powertrain a possibility
Also new with the 12th gen Corolla is the hybrid powerplant. Before this, only JDM Corolla versions were offered with hybrid option, however with the introduction of 12th gen Corolla the hybrid variant has been offered in almost every market across the globe. It will be too early to predict whether Pakistan will be getting the hybrid Corolla variant or not, but since IMC has already indicated the launch of a hybrid SUV towards the end of this year, the possibility of Corolla Hybrid cannot be ruled out.
In Thailand, the hybrid version of 12th gen Toyota Corolla utilizes the 2ZR-FXE 1.8 liter engine that churns out 98 hp and 142 Nm, and is paired to a 72 hp/122 Nm electric motor. Power is sent to the front wheels via an E-CVT transmission.
Advanced Safety Features
One of the key things that differentiate the 12th gen Corolla from the previous generation in addition to the TNGA platform is the availability of advanced safety equipment. And it’s not going to be about ABS and airbags only, the 12th gen Corolla comes equipped the innovative Toyota Safety Sense package that takes driver assistance to the next level.
Automatic High Beam, Road Sign Assist, Pre-Collision System with Night-time Pedestrian Detection, Pre-Collision System with Cyclist Detection, Full-range Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Trace Assist are some of the safety features worth mentioning. However we will have to wait to see how many of these safety features eventually make their way here.
No More Boring Corollas
Toyota’s Design Research studio president Kevin Hunter admitted that Toyota had a “rather bland design” in the past. Fortunately, with a new directive straight from Toyota Motors Corporation president Akio Toyoda himself, the designers now have a greater position in the vehicle design process. This means there won’t be any boring Toyotas anymore.
However this wouldn’t have been possible without the TNGA platform. As Kevin Hunter puts it, the designers need the cars to have good proportions in order for them to be able to achieve a good design. The TNGA platform allowed that to happen with its lower center of gravity, more rigid frame, new suspension, and greater use of high-strength steel. Hunter adds:
“TNGA also liberates vehicle design, enabling rooflines and bonnets to be lower and resulting in each model being visually distinctive with more appealing proportions.”
One Corolla- Too many fascias
Many faces of the 12th gen Corolla
The 12th gen Corolla however has too many fascias available in each market. There are already a couple of design variations for the Corolla in North American markets, and a couple of more in China. The European version and most Asian market versions look alike yet different from the Chinese and North American version, however even in Asia and Oceania one can find multiple faces of the latest Corolla. While it’s largely believed that the Corolla we will be getting here will look similar to the one offered in Thailand (pictured below).
Better than ever
According to Toyota, the all-new 12th gen Corolla sedan is better than ever. It is the safest, the most powerful, yet the most fuel efficient, the most fun to drive and perhaps the most beautiful Corolla ever produced.
If all goes well, the 12th gen Corolla will likely arrive in Pakistan either towards the end of this year or early next year. Stay tuned to CarSpiritPK for more information on 12th generation Toyota Corolla in Pakistan. Want to share your thoughts on this, do let us know with your comments.
A 3d animation professional with over 20 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations & production facilities of Pakistan, an avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver writings to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com