Toyota Motor launched its new generation Corolla in Japan, the first full redesign for its popular compact passenger car in seven years.

This is the 12th generation of the Corolla model, with 47.5m units sold worldwide [under a variety of nameplates including Auris in Europe] since the first model was launched back in 1966.

The new Corolla platform is based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) which the company described as its global programme to "structurally transform automobile design by dramatically improving the basic performance and marketability of Toyota vehicles by redeveloping powertrain units and vehicle platforms and reconceiving overall vehicle optimisation".

The new car has a sportier design and a lower centre of gravity which offers a sportier driving experience and more responsive handling. 

The new Corolla features a touch-screen display that can send texts, play music, use navigation applications and other connected service and communicate with smart phones. It also has advanced safety features including a system that detects pedestrians and bicycles at night. 

Toyota unveiled three basic variants of the car, 1.2- and 1.8-litre petrol engine models and a 1.8-litre hybrid, with prices ranging between JPY1,936,000 and JPY2,948,000.

The company has set a monthly sales target in Japan of 1,700 units for the basic Corolla sedan, 5,400 units for the Corolla Touring and 2,300 units for the Corolla Sport variant.

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