Everyone knows that Toyota is trying to create more exciting cars, but if the Corolla Furia Concept unveiled at the North American International Auto Show yesterday actually becomes the new Corolla, that would certainly be a radical transformation or epic proportions.
The Corolla has long been a sleepy but best-selling compact sedan, and the Furia Concept completely turns that history on its head. Unlike the new Lexus IS, which is essentially the same car as its predecessor with a few extra add-ons, the Furia completely changed the profile of the Corolla. It’s got a longer and wider wheelbase, a raked roofine and flared wheel wells that can squeeze 19-inch wheels. Oh, and there’s carbon fiber everywhere. This is not the Corolla of yore.
Will Toyota actually build the new Corolla like this? No way. The Furia Concept is way too polarizing and extreme to garner the kind of mass appeal you need for a car like the Corolla. But given their renewed focus on excitement and performance, Toyota could certainly incorporate some aspects of the Furia into their soon-to-debut Corolla.
The entire aggressive front fascia is safe enough to keep, albeit without the LED lights and carbon fiber bits on the Furia. The front grille shape is wide and attractive, while the illuminated Prius-like bar that attaches the headlights gives the Corolla a mischievous smile that works. Around the side, dynamic character lines and rocker panel curves instantly give the Furia more personality than all previous Corollas rolled into one. It would be great to see these carried over into the new Corolla.
Out back, the taillights are Kia-esque, surely no coincidence, and while the carbon fiber diffuser and lip spoiler won’t make it to production, the general shape is quite lovely with a beautiful sloping roof molding into a curvy trunk and protruding bumper.
Toyota hasn’t fooled us into thinking the new Corolla will be this exciting, but they have shown us what they’re capable of when they’re interested in building fun cars. The bar has been raised, and we can’t wait to see how they try to clear it.