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November 25, 2010

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When designing the new 2009 Corolla, Toyota changed its design approach, going from individual styling for individual markets to a unified global design. For inspiration, design engineers and stylists moved to Turin, Italy for four months. The result: a more youthful and sporty style, far more European, according to the company. The new design, Toyota says, “conveys an image of strength, solidarity and stability, requiring a larger frame and a completely reworked package.”

The new design is wide and low; overall width has been increased by 2.4 inches, and overall height reduced by 0.8 inches. Overall length increased by 0.4 inches, while the wheelbase remains the same at 102.4 inches. Overall passenger volume increased by 1.7 cubic feet.

To create a lower, sportier shape, the bottom of the A-pillar was moved forward while the bottom of the C-pillar was moved rearward, increasing the angle of the window glass and achieving a sportier shape. The instrument panel was lowered to increase forward visibility, and the new design features a nearly flat rear floor. To maximize passenger seating comfort, both front and rear seats have extended seat cushions.

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