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by Don Sikora II
Note: The following story was excerpted from the October 2018 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
If our readers were asked to rank Toyota Corolla traits, we’d guess sportiness and enthusiast interest would fall pretty far down the resulting list. Still, there have been Corollas capable of piquing a cheap-wheeler’s curiosity, and we think the 1987-88 FX16 GT-S “hot hatch” is one of the cars from this subset.
Over its more than 50 years of existence and 40 million units of sales, Toyota’s Corolla has built an enviable reputation for reliability and value. With the 2020 redesign of the sedan, Toyota hopes to add “sporty” and “thrifty” to its long-established virtues.
Toyota is known for its hybrids, and the company introduced yet another one at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Actually, this was kind of a “two-fer”: Not only is it a new hybrid model, but it’s based on the new-for-2020 Corolla sedan (which itself is based on the redesigned 2019 Corolla Hatchback) that is not due to go on sale until March of next year — which is about the same timeframe Toyota is announcing for this hybrid version.
First, let me allay your fears: This is not THE redesigned 2019 Corolla; it’s the redesigned 2019 Corolla Hatchback, which will be sold alongside the existing 2018 Corolla sedan when the Hatchback hits dealer showrooms in July. (When asked about a corresponding 2019 Corolla sedan, a Toyota rep gave the usual, ”We can’t comment on future products” line. But chances are strong it’s coming by the end of 2018.)
In advance of the car’s debut at the 2018 New York Auto Show, Toyota has unveiled its redesigned 2019 Corolla—and the new model is a hatchback instead of a sedan.
In addition to the body-style change, the new Corolla is a bit longer, lower, and wider than the outgoing-generation model. It utilizes the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) Platform, versions of which also underpin the current Toyota Prius and the unconventional C-HR crossover. Toyota says the torsional rigidity of the new Corolla’s body structure is improved by 60 percent over its predecessor.