NY LIVE: 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatch

NY LIVE: 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatch

by Ronan Glon

The Corolla iM's replacement is heading to the Big Apple.

Toyota has introduced the 2019 Corolla Hatch online ahead of its public debut at next week's New York Auto Show.

Developed to replace the Corolla iM, which started life as a Scion, the Corolla Hatch adopts a more dynamic look inspired by Toyota's recent design language. The hood is lower, the grille is broader, and the headlights are wider. Up front, it reminds us of the newest Avalon and Camry.

Toyota gave the Corolla Hatch softer edges; the Corolla iM looks almost wedge-shaped in comparison. Out back, the design of the lights and the bumper insert echoes the headlights and the grille.

Apple CarPlay compatibility comes standard; that's right, in a Toyota. The company finally warmed up to the software (or to the idea that offering it is inevitable) and promised to make it available on some of its cars. There's no sign of Android Auto yet, though.

Amazon Alexa, Bluetooth connectivity, voice recognition, and a Wi-Fi connection all come standard. The surprisingly long list of electronic driving aids includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, pre-collision assist and pedestrian detection. Toyota notes its pedestrian detection technology "sees" pedestrians even in the dark, and the pre-collision assist function applies the brakes if it detects a collision can't be avoided.

Technical details are vague at best. All we know at this point is that the Corolla Hatch comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Your guess is as good as ours when it comes to horsepower and torque specifications. It's bolted to either a continuously variable transmission (CVT) or a six-speed manual transmission.

The Corolla's CVT is an interesting one. Like we previously reported, it comes with a launch gear instead of the first gear ratio typically found in a CVT. In other words, it functions like a normal automatic in first gear, and switches to standard CVT operation when it would normally shift to second gear. The whole shebang sounds complicated, and it is, but Toyota promises adding a launch gear reduces the rubber band-like acceleration and delivers better fuel economy.

Toyota will release pricing information in the weeks leading up to the Corolla Hatch's on-sale date, which is scheduled for this summer. The line-up will include two trim levels named SE and XSE, respectively.

Live images by Brian Williams.