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Toyota's disco ball will be spinning above its GT-86 sports coupe in June, but away from the dance floor, it's the all-new Corolla that will bring in the profits.

However Toyota is being typically elusive about the 11th generation Corolla, due in Australia in November as a hatchback before its early-2013 sedan launch. In fact Toyota Australia simply says it "can't provide any details'' of any upcoming new model.

The first Corolla sighting - aside from heavily-camouflaged spy shots - will be at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney on October 19. Corolla is expected to be marginally longer but will lose some kilos thanks to more use of high tensile steel in production.

There's no news on mechanical specifications but Australia is long overdue for the Valvematic mechanism that is an evolution of the existing VVT-i system. Valvematic has been in selected Toyota products in Japan and Europe since 2007 and claims a 10 per cent power increase and a 5-10 per cent drop in fuel consumption.

The engine with this value system is identified by the FAE designation. Two variants are possible for the Corolla - the 2ZR-FAE 1.8-litre with 110kW and 179Nm, or the 3ZR-FAE 2-litre with 116kW and 195Nm. This compares with the current Corolla Ultima 2-litre with 102kW and 189Nm.

More welcome will be a new automatic gearbox. The Corolla has struggled for decades with its four-speed unit while many rivals are offering up to six cogs. Aside from an all-new gearbox, Toyota has a new CVT (continuously-variable transmission) Sports Mode gearbox available. It claims to have a G-sensor to detect deceleration and turning force to make it automatically downshift when entering a corner. It can also hold the gear when cornering so there's no annoying mid-corner upshift.

The Corolla sedan, to follow early in 2013, will arrive about the same time as the Yaris sedan and the all-new RAV4. The Yaris repeats most of the body changes - forward of the B-pillar - of the hatch model and has the same drivetrain options. But the RAV4 is not only a new look but a new direction.

Toyota will follow the cross-over road with its next RAV4 - the first since the current model launched in 2006 - with a bigger wagon that sits lower to the ground. It will get the Camry 135kW/235Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and a five-speed automatic transmission. It's possible that Toyota may insert the Camry's six-cog auto box but there may be two constraints - issues with mating that to the all-wheel drive system and the cost of the six-speeder.

There are rumours of a turbo-diesel RAV4 - complete with automatic transmission - for Australia but given demand in Europe, supply for Australia may be a problem. Toyota recently announced an electric version, the RAV4 EV, but it is based on the current model and only designed for left-hand drive.

In growing in size, the Camry-based RAV4 will lose its tailgate-mounted spare wheel. This  may lead to a top-hinged tailgate instead of the current side-hinged door. Aside from these new models, Toyota will in the third quarter launch special editions of the current Kluger, Land Cruiser 200-Series and RAV4. There will also be upgrades to the FJ Cruiser and Tarago in November.
 

Neil Dowling
Contributing Journalist
GoAutoMedia Cars have been the corner stone to Neil’s passion, beginning at pre-school age, through school but then pushed sideways while he studied accounting. It was rekindled when he started contributing to magazines including Bushdriver and then when he started a motoring section in Perth’s The Western Mail. He was then appointed as a finance writer for the evening Daily News, supplemented by writing its motoring column. He moved to The Sunday Times as finance editor and after a nine-year term, finally drove back into motoring when in 1998 he was asked to rebrand and restyle the newspaper’s motoring section, expanding it over 12 years from a two-page section to a 36-page lift-out. In 2010 he was selected to join News Ltd’s national motoring group Carsguide and covered national and international events, launches, news conferences and Car of the Year awards until November 2014 when he moved into freelancing, working for GoAuto, The West Australian, Western 4WDriver magazine, Bauer Media and as an online content writer for one of Australia’s biggest car groups. He has involved himself in all aspects including motorsport where he has competed in everything from motocross to motorkhanas and rallies including Targa West and the ARC Forest Rally. He loves all facets of the car industry, from design, manufacture, testing, marketing and even business structures and believes cars are one of the few high-volume consumables to combine a very high degree of engineering enlivened with an even higher degree of emotion from its consumers.
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