By Andrew Ganz
Monday, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 6:45 pm
 

Toyota's bread-and-butter Corolla is due for a makeover later this year, and to whet our appetite, the automaker is showing off a concept version at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit today.

Under CEO and family heir Akio Toyoda, the automaker has promised to become more expressive and engaging both in terms of styling and engineering.

(More after video)


The Corolla Furia clearly shows that the automaker's designers are listening, since the bright orange concept car is certainly more interesting to look at than the current Corolla. An aggressive front fascia combines with a unique side profile to create a compact sedan that is miles away from the current, workaday Corolla.



The car's design elements include LED head and tail lamps, plus carbon fiber trim on the car's wheel wells, rocker panels and rear valence. Other than the potential for some LEDs in the head and tail lamp assemblies, we doubt any of those features will make production, but they do indicate that Toyota might be looking to move the Corolla in a different direction.

Still, Toyota has long acknowledged that the Corolla buyer base isn't especially interested in performance. A more powerful 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine was a short-lived option in the current Corolla. After 2010, that optional engine was discarded in favor of a single 1.8-liter. It's unclear what engine will power the next Corolla, although most rumors point to the existing four-speed automatic biting the dust in favor of a CVT.

Stretching about 2.5 inches longer and about 1.5 inches wider than the 2013 Corolla, the Furia concept rides on a roughly 4 inch longer wheelbase. That alone should yield a big improvement in interior room compared to the current car.