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Toyota Corolla at the motor show

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Toyota becomes the Corolla car company at Darling Harbour. And it’s not just about the all-new model that’s almost certain to become Australia’s favourite car in 2013.

The full history of the Toyota baby will be laid out to highlight the introduction of the 11th-generation Corolla hatch, which has just made its world preview in Paris and is being rushed Down Under for the start of local sales next month.

Toyota Australia has found cars that track the Corolla back to the start of its local run, in 1967, when there was little indication that it would go on to become the global bestseller and the car that led the downsizing movement around the world.

“We have a special Corolla presentation area at the show,” says Peter Hampson, corporate manager of marketing at Toyota Australia. “It includes one of each of the previous generations of the Corolla, back to the 1960s, and two of the very latest cars. This is the first time anyone in Australia will be able to see the new Corolla hatch.

” Toyota is mounting its usual giant display at Darling Harbour, with close to 1400m of stand area, but is taking a new approach for 2012. And it’s not just about the Corolla and the focus on the newcomer.

“We’ve built a new stand this year. It’s all on one level, which makes it more accessible for anyone visiting us. And it’s greener, too, with 12 LED light towers,” says Hampson. “We think it will allow people to have a good time when they visit Toyota at the show.”

It takes up to 40 people more than a week to assemble the stand and load it with everything from Brand T, from the Corolla crew to the hot new Toyota 86 sports car. “There will be a complete range of Toyota models, including the new Prius V, Prius C and the locally made Aurion and Camry, which have been released this year,” says Hampson.

“The theme of the show stand is Waku Doki Plus, which we’ve picked up from the 86 program. It means we’re going to be edgy, fresh, modern and a little bit surprising.” That means a very special 86, which won its class in the Nurburgring 24-Hour race earlier this year, with Gazoo Racing from Japan, providing the motorsport flavour.

“We’ve also got a very rare Toyota 2000 GT sports car from the ‘60s. These are worth more than $250,000.” Toyota also has a safe driving simulator, which it wants everyone – especially young drivers – to try.

“It’s about testing their driving skills, but also allows visitors to see how VSC (stability control) and traction control work in virtual reality. It’s a totally safe environment to sample these life-saving technologies,” Hampson adds. 

New Toyota Corolla
Prices: from $20,000
Engine: 1.8-litre petrol
Release date: This month

Paul Gover
Paul Gover is a former CarsGuide contributor. During decades of experience as a motoring journalist, he has acted as chief reporter of News Corp Australia. Paul is an all-round automotive expert and specialises in motorsport.
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