January 25, 2008 - Torrance, CA - Nearly 40 years after the Corolla was introduced to American drivers, an all-new, 10th generation 2009 Corolla will continue to offer the quality and value for which the brand has long been known.
Originally launched in 1966, Corolla first arrived in America in 1968 to instant success. For nearly four decades, Corolla has been synonymous with Toyota quality, style and value, earning a distinction as one of the most trusted cars in America. Over that span more than 30 million Corollas have been sold worldwide, making it one of the best-selling cars of all time.
The new Corolla remains true to the brand's role as a subcompact sedan, with dimensions similar to the model it replaces. But it offers an all-new body with a lean, muscular shape, and it delivers increased interior and luggage room, more power, more economical engines and an all-new chassis and suspension.
The Corolla's wide, low profile was developed by Toyota Design in collaboration with styling studios in Turin, Italy. Its foundation was set by the search for a lower, sportier shape than that of the previous Corolla. That search drove the decision to move the bottom of the A-pillar forward and the bottom of the C-pillar aft to increase the angle of the window glass and to improve the Corolla's aerodynamic performance.
Using a modeling technique called “sweep cut,” designers crafted character lines that sweep from the hood toward the A-pillars, and that carry back from the top edge of the front bumper into the subtle but muscular front-fender flares. Other character lines carry rearward at the level of the door handles, emphasizing the Corolla's new low profile, and sweep down from the C-pillar and along the top edges of the rear fenders. The result is a smart, sophisticated surface design that is, from any angle, interesting to the viewer's eye.
In developing this shape, the goals for the 2009 Corolla's all-new body structure were several: creation of additional interior space, increased rigidity for reduced vibration and noise – all without any major change to the package size – and passenger safety. The result is a sporty, dynamic shape that contains enough room for five people to ride in comfort and enough space for four golf bags.
These goals were achieved by producing a car that is less than a half-inch longer than the older version, less than 2.5 inches wider, and approximately one inch shorter in height with no change in the 102.4-inch wheelbase.
The hood is leading edge. Just above the dense mesh grille that helps form the now familiar Toyota T-face, an interlayer of anti-chipping coating is used to help reduce the effects of stone chips on the Corolla's paint. Below the grille, a low air intake aids the Corolla's graphic sense of width.
As they tuned the body design, engineers profiled the A-pillar to decrease wind noise. They also adopted acoustic glass to reduce high-frequency noise from glass vibration. This special windshield is constructed of five layers, with two layers of glass sandwiching a layer of acoustic material. Engineers also utilized a vibration-control structure to reduce vibration of side glass and they modified the floor carpet to enhance sound absorption performance.
Such was the engineers' attention to detail, in fact, that a resin cover was adopted for the wiper blade to make it more aerodynamic and reduce noise.
Also, to help reduce wind noise, the upper side of the cowl louver shape was raised to regulate the flow of the air hitting the windshield wipers. While using a newly developed surface molding, the windshield is flush-mounted to smooth the flow of air over the glass and achieve an improvement in the appearance. To minimize their exposure to airflow while they are at rest, windshield washers are partially shielded by the rear edge of the hood, instead of atop the hood or cowling.
In an interesting design touch, the Corolla's headlamp outline matches the shape of the upper edge of the bumper. That shape is mimicked by the shape of the taillamp to help present a unified design theme. Additionally, the side-view mirrors were enlarged for improved rear visibility and also fold manually. Heated side-view mirrors, which help ensure visibility in cold climates, are available.
The standard body kit on S and XRS models helps to modify aerodynamics and enhance the Corolla's sporty look – these include a front spoiler, rocker moldings, upper and lower rear spoilers, and for improved air management under the car, engine undercovers.
The all-new Corolla will come in five grades – Standard, LE, XLE, the sporty S, and the performance-driven XRS.
Five all-new colors are introduced for 2009 Corolla lineup; Classic Silver Metallic, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Barcelona Red Metallic, Capri Sea Metallic and Blue Streak Metallic.
The 2009 Corolla's interior is sporty and distinctive – with roomy-feeling comfort. While Corolla maintains the same headroom, legroom and shoulder room as the previous model, it feels larger, thanks to the careful design of engineers and designers looking to enhance comfort and improve utility, usability and storage.
Engineers began their search for better comfort by concentrating on the driver. They repositioned the Corolla's steering column and improved its ability to tilt and telescope to ensure that all drivers can find a comfortable driving position.
Focusing on the shape and dimensions of the Corolla's seats, engineers. measured and charted the driving positions of people who were tall or of average height. The data they gathered was incorporated into the shape of the Corolla's new front seats.
During testing, every time a seat-test subject expressed a feeling of pressure, the seat contour was adjusted in one millimeter increments. Then, to improve the seat's fit for shorter people, engineers slightly modified that shape by altering the contour of the forward edge pads. The result is seats that are comfortable for people of almost any height.
In the rear, there is a spacious, comfortable, bench-style seat in which three adults can sit comfortably. Rear-seat comfort is enhanced with the addition of rear seatbelt comfort guides. The nearly flat floor was made possible by changing Corolla's exhaust system routing, also improving rear-seat passenger comfort.
The focal point of the Corolla's instrument panel is a doubled-browed bezel that contains the four essential gauges, with a tachometer on the center-left and a speedometer on the center-right. To the lower left of the tachometer is an engine-coolant temperature gauge, and to the lower right of the speedometer is the fuel-level gauge. The speedometer contains a digital odometer/trip meter and shift indicator.
A multi-information display, featured only on XRS and XLE models, shows a variety of information, including current fuel mileage, clock, outside temperature gauge, average fuel mileage and fuel consumption gauges, current driving range, average speed and elapsed time.
Toyota's optitron gauges, which are illuminated with bright white light and use red needles, are featured on Corolla XLE and XRS. Standard gauges, which also use red needles but are illuminated with amber light, are featured on Standard, LE and S grades.
In addition to the basic three-spoke wheel, there are two available steering wheel types – a three-spoke leather-trimmed wheel with an audio switch, and that same wheel with both audio and cruise-control switches. Bluetooth® and voice-recognition switches also are available.
Audio and HVAC controls are contained in a stylish center console just to the right of the instrument panel. Four audio systems are available – a four speaker system with AM/FM/CD, a six-speaker system with the same, a six-speaker system with AM/FM/six-disc CD changer, and a JBL eight-speaker system in six locations with AM/FM/six-disc CD changer. All of these systems have MP3/WMA playback capability, auxiliary audio jack and Automatic Sound Levelizer (ASL), which adjusts volume levels according to vehicle speed. An available navigation system, a first for Corolla, features a large, easily visible screen.
A newly-developed highly efficient air conditioning system brings cooling performance to improved levels. A pollen-removal filter is part of the new air-conditioning system.
A variety of useable, easy-to-reach storage spaces add convenience and usability to the 2009 Corolla's interior. These include center console side pockets, a storage box above the usual glove box, front and rear door pockets that can safely hold 20-ounce bottles, a console box with a large-capacity main tray and a smaller accessory tray, an overhead console useful for storage of sunglasses or garage-door openers, and a rear-seat center armrest with an integral drink holder.
Map lights that illuminate independently are supplied for both driver and front passenger. And to aid in ingress and egress, retractable handgrips are supplied above each door opening.
Three interior color schemes are available. They are Ash, Dark Charcoal and Bisque – the latter is a pleasing, less chromatic interpretation of the color beige. The Bisque is paired with Ash Brown trim. There are several choices of fabric available, depending upon which model grade is chosen. For a more refined look and feel, a leather-trim interior is available on the S and XRS grades.
An electrochromic rear-view mirror that automatically lowers the reflectivity of the mirror surface as necessary is available, while a tilt and slide power moon roof that includes a one-touch automatic function is available. Remote keyless entry also is available.
Chassis, Suspension, Steering and Brakes
The 2009 Corolla's chassis begins with a very stiff, rigid body structure that relies on high tensile-strength steel, gussets and crossmembers for its strength, rigidity and lightweight construction.
To this is mounted a compact, rigid L-arm-type MacPherson strut front suspension with a stabilizer bar. Strut components include carefully tuned springs, shocks and lower bushings.
The Corolla's rear suspension employs a coil-over-shock arrangement with a newly developed torsion beam that allows efficient packaging along with stable handling and outstanding ride comfort.
Brakes are 10.8-inch vented discs up front, nine-inch drums with leading/trailing shoes at the rear on Standard, LE, and S grades, and 10.2-inch solid rear discs on XRS.
Steering is accomplished via a newly designed rack and pinion assembly that is lighter and more rigid.
In a significant departure from past engineering practice with the Corolla, the input to that steering rack is supplied by electric power steering. Using a compact motor, speed reducer and torque sensor built into the steering column, the amount of assistance the system delivers varies according to engine rpm and vehicle speed. The result is appropriate weight and responsiveness at higher speeds, and light effort at low speeds.
Use of electronic power steering helps enhance fuel economy because it uses electrical power only when assist force is necessary. It is environmentally efficient because it does not require oil like conventional hydraulic power steering systems do.
In the unlikely event that an abnormality should occur within the electronic power steering system, a fail-safe function will shut down the output current. The system then becomes fully manual, and it remains fully operable. A warning lamp in the dash illuminates to notify the driver of the abnormality.
Two grades of the 2009 Corolla – Standard and LE – are equipped with P195/65R-15 tires, with P205/55R-16 tires on the XLE and S grades and P215/45R17 tires standard on the XRS. Base wheels are 15- and 16-inch steel wheels with full wheel covers. Alloy 16-inch wheels are available on S, LE and XLE.
To monitor the air pressure in the tires, a direct tire-pressure monitor system is standard. Using a tire-pressure sensor in each of the road wheels, the system illuminates a tire-pressure warning light in the dash module to warn the driver when the air pressure in a tire drops to a hazardous level. The system has a reset switch to allow for different front and rear tire pressures.
Engines and Transmissions
The 2009 Corolla is offered with a pair of efficient new engines, each of which can be combined with a five-speed manual transmission. The four-speed automatic transmission is combined with the 1.8-liter engine and the five-speed automatic is combined with the 2.4-liter engine.
The Standard, LE and XLE will be equipped with the all-new engine. The 16-valve, DOHC four-cylinder engine, which displaces 1,798 cc or 109.7 ci, produces 132 hp at 6,000 rpm and 128 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm.
This engine uses a compression ratio of 10:1 and is undersquare, with a 3.16-inch bore and a 3.48-inch stroke.
One of the engine's most important features is its use of Dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing with intelligence) on both the intake and exhaust camshafts that helps it achieve outstanding performance and economy.
Dual VVT-i continually alters the phase of each camshaft by operating the oil-control valve and controlling oil pressure on the advance/retard chamber of the VVT-i cam pulley through signals from the engine control computer. The result is optimized valve timing, contributing to higher output and increased efficiency.
Other improvements, such as thinner, low-tension piston rings and roller rocker arms, substantially reduce friction. Additionally, valve-train components are downsized to provide a very compact valve layout: Diagonal squish combustion chambers are used for excellent combustion efficiency, and oil jets help keep the pistons cool. The result of all this is an engine that is light, compact, and, for its size and weight, very quiet and very powerful.
A five-speed manual transmission is standard with the 1.8-liter engine, and a four-speed automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission (ECT) also is available. It is light, compact and smooth-shifting, thanks to meticulously controlled oil pressures, and uses the latest low-friction technology. Its torque converter uses flex lockup for enhanced fuel efficiency.
This transmission employs an uphill/downhill shift control that selects the proper gear for conditions, and that helps provide moderate engine braking during downhill driving.
For those who crave just a bit more horsepower and torque, there is the 2.4-liter engine. This engine is completely redesigned for use in the new Corolla XRS grade. Every engine part was changed for additional output, friction was reduced in all areas of the engine for improved efficiency, and NVH performance was enhanced. Additionally, the engine control system was changed to provide additional early catalyst warmth for improved exhaust emissions performance.
The 16-valve DOHC engine uses VVT-i. Undersquare, with a bore of 3.48 inches and a stroke of 3.78 inches, it displaces 2,362 cc or 144.1 ci and operates with a 9.8:1 compression ratio to produce 158 hp at 6,000 rpm and 162 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. Its horsepower and torque curves cross at about 5,200 rpm.
Features include enhanced bore circularity for reduced friction, a block reinforced for additional rigidity, new, lighter-weight pistons and new piston shape, with an optimized skirt for reduced friction. This engine also uses a balance shaft for vibration suppression, and oil jets to help piston cooling.
Finally, this engine's exhaust system is improved to provide lower backpressure for improved output.
The 2.4-liter engine transmits its power through the five-speed manual transmission, but is available with a five-speed automatic. This is an ECT that is light and compact, and that uses a highly efficient torque converter.
The automatic transmission can be manually shifted sequentially by moving the shift lever to the left from its “D” position into its “S” position and then pushing forward for upshifts and back for downshifts. An indicator inside the combination gauge shows the gear selected.
Like the four-speed automatic, the five-speed automatic uses a torque converter with flex lockup for increased fuel efficiency. It also has an uphill/downhill shift control to help ensure proper uphill or downhill gear selection, and to provide moderate engine braking on downhill inclines.
Engineers have addressed the issue of collision compatibility between compact and full-size cars.
As the Corolla's design developed, much work was done on impact absorption. Engineers began by creating a light, rigid body through the use of high-strength steel. They specified rust-resistant sheet steels in areas that are prone to corrosion.
Thanks to a body that effectively absorbs shock during collisions plus a high-strength cabin structure, the cabin maintains adequate space when subjected to front, rear, or side impacts. Airbags are installed in the steering wheel, instrument panel, front seats and side-roof. Side curtain airbags that help protect passengers in the front and rear seats in the event of a side impact are available.
The strong, light, durable body uses a unique design in which cabin deformation is suppressed. The structure disperses collision energy to help ensure effective impact absorption in the front, rear and side.
As a result of this work, in the event of an impact, the 2009 Corolla's structure efficiently absorbs and disperses impact energy throughout the entire body structure. Strengthened door beltline reinforcements help share the impact load, which in side impacts is also directed to the underbody.
Seatbelt pretensioners cinch the seat belt at the time of a frontal collision, and the dual-stage force limiter helps limit the seat belt force applied to the chest of the passenger.
Front seats employ active headrests as standard equipment. When the vehicle is struck from the rear, a cable-actuated mechanism in the active headrest moves the headrest upward and forward to limit the movement of the seat occupant's head.
Toyota's Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) is standard on all grades of the Corolla with Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with Traction Control (TRAC) and off switch available as options.
The all-new Corolla is equipped with an array of standard performance and convenience features. Among the many features on the Standard grade are P195/65 R15 tires, a heavy duty rear window defogger, AM/FM/CD audio with four speakers that is also satellite capable, air conditioning with air filter, driver and front passenger airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags and side curtain airbags, intermittent windshield wipers, two 12-volt power outlets, daytime running lights, black manual folding power mirrors, power steering, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, 60/40 split folding rear seats, and much more.
In addition to standard features on the Standard grade, the LE grade adds power windows with driver-side one-touch-down, power doorlocks and color-keyed manual-folding power mirrors.
In addition to features on the LE grade, the XLE grade adds P205/55 R16 tires with full wheel covers, variable intermittent wipers, remote keyless entry, Optitron gauges, center console with sliding armrests, wood grain trim, and driver and passenger rear-seat pockets.
In addition to Standard grade features, the sporty S grade also features standard P205/55R16 tires with full wheel covers, color-keyed front and rear underbody spoilers, fog lamps, front sport seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, black headlamp housing, chrome exhaust tip and AM/FM/CD satellite capable audio with six speakers.
In addition to S grade features, the XRS grade adds rear deck spoiler, P215/45 R17 tires with alloy wheels, sport strut tower brace, VSC with TRAC and off switch, XRS scuff plate, leather-trimmed shift lever and knob, cruise control and interior chrome accent.
In addition to the array of standard equipment, an impressive list of optional comfort and utility features are available to further enhance the Corolla driving experience. Options available on Standard Corolla include cruise control, AM/FM/six-disc CD changer with MP3/WMA playback capability, satellite radio (subscription required) and six speakers, and an All Weather Guard package.
In addition to the options on Standard Corolla, the LE adds 16-inch alloy wheels and remote keyless entry.
The XLE adds tilt and slide moonroof, VSC with TRAC and off switch, P205/55 R16 tires with 16-inch alloy wheels, a JBL audio system with AM/FM/six-disc CD changer with MP3/WMA playback capability, XM® satellite and eight speakers in six locations and navigation system with AM/FM CD with MP3/WMA playback capability.
Options for the S grade include an available rear deck spoiler, Power Package, Sport Package, and leather-trimmed seats, steering wheel and shift knob.
The XRS adds the S grade options, as well as, JBL Audio system with AM/FM six-disc CD changer with eight speakers, navigation system with AM/FM CD with MP3/WMA playback capability and XM® satellite radio with NavTraffic capable with six speakers, and leather-trimmed seats, steering wheel and shift knob.
Toyota's 36-month/36,000 mile new-vehicle limited warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60 months and corrosion perforation for 60 months with no mileage limitations.
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