Toyota’s next-generation Corolla sedan has been caught cold weather testing ahead of its expected global debut - in concept form - towards the end of this year.
The current 11th generation Corolla sedan went on sale in Australia in 2014, about two years after its hugely popular hatch sibling and both have undergone styling and tech upgrades in the time since.
While a camouflaged next-gen Corolla hatch was spotted testing mid last year, this is one of the first sightings of its sedan twin in prototype phase.
Looking at these images, try not to be distracted by what looks to be cardboard boxes, masking tape and somebody’s living room carpet attached to the car – there’s much we can tell from what we can see. There’s a new taillight and boot lid design, and moving down the side of the car the C-pillar looks similar to the old car but the rear quarter window frames are more curved. Those wing mirrors are positioned unusually high and their frame is more angular than the current car’s.
The new sedan has the low nose spied on the hatch last year. A clamshell bonnet similar to the current model’s can also be seen, and peering through a hole in the nose cladding looks to be either a camera or radar for AEB or active cruise control.
The Corolla may have been the best-selling passenger car in Australia for the past three years, but it's being fiercely hunted now by its competitors who either have their next generation car ready such as Hyundai with the i30 or not far away with a new Mazda3 rumoured to be coming in 2018. The excellent new generation Elantra which arrived in Australia last year is the Corolla sedan's Hyundai rival.
The pressure’s on Toyota then to keep the wolves at bay and the future Corolla is not only expected to have new styling but will also likely sit on Toyota’s new modular platform which debuted on the latest Prius.
Expect a production version of the hatch to go on sale in late 2018 and given that the sedan has only undergone a major revision in January this year it isn't likely to go on sale here before 2019.