Furia concept rolls into Detroit
Toyota abandons its shrinking-violet ways for bold new designs
Toyota is like that kid we all know, who from one school year to the next changes wardrobes, becomes outgoing, and starts hanging out with the cool kids.
The Japanese giant, which had a record sales year in 2012 and is the best-selling brand in North America, has been chucking out old boring designs it has relied on for decades in favor of more youthful, vibrant vehicles.
The made-over Toyota Camry has been a hit. A restyled new Avalon sedan just came out and stands a good chance of appealing to more than just the geriatric crowd. A spruced-up RAV4 crossover is coming soon, too.
Now it's the Toyota Corolla's turn.
Toyota Corolla Furia Concept
What is it? A preview of what the next-generation Toyota Corolla will look like.
What's hot? It's a heck of a lot more stylish than the existing Corolla. The wheelbase has been stretched and the front and rear overhangs tucked in for a more athletic stance, with the large wheels pushed to the corners.
The front end has a very aggressive look, thanks to the blacked-out lower grille and the thin upper grille that houses the headlights and is shaped like the blade of a scythe. LED auxiliary lights arching across the top form furrowed eyebrows for a sinister expression. The overall proportions of the car are also more dramatic, thanks in part to a steeply raked windshield and a shorter hood and trunk. The headlights and taillights with LEDs lend a high-tech look.
What's not? There's a lot going on in terms of design details. The front in particular looks a bit overwrought and busy.
How much and when? The next-generation Toyota Corolla comes out later this year. Pricing has not yet been announced.
MSN Autos' verdict: It's high time the painfully bland Toyota Corolla got gussied up, especially when you look at how attractive the new designs are on competing models. The Furia Concept certainly is more dynamic and dramatic looking than the existing Corolla, but Toyota needs to temper its enthusiasm to make sure it doesn't go overboard with the redesign.
Matthew de Paula wanted to be an automotive journalist ever since reading his first car magazine in grade school. After a brief stint writing about finance, he helped launch ForbesAutos.com and became the site's editor in 2006. Matthew now freelances for various outlets.