Welcome to the world of 2018, where the Toyota Supra won’t get a manual but the new Toyota Corolla will.
This is an important Corolla, at least to me. I went out on the press launch for the 2014 Corolla, which, if I’m totally honest, was kind of like a heavy update of the Corolla before it, and traced a lot of its roots back to the 2000s. That you could get it with a four-speed automatic was kind of a giveaway.
But this new Corolla rides on a fresh modular platform, or Toyota New Global Architecture, which we’ve seen since 2015 on the current Prius.
So this Corolla promises to be much more up-to-date in feel and design than the previous car. That’s fine. That’s wonderful. That’s also not what interests me the most.
Look at this! Six-speed manual. In a Corolla. In 2018.
Every sign should point to the manual going away in the most let’s-try-to-please-everyone car on the market. Ferrari dumped manuals years ago. The newest, fastest Porsches don’t have manuals. Even the upcoming Supra won’t get a manual. And yet here we are, with three pedals still in a Corolla.
Bless be. There’s also multi-link suspension in the rear as opposed to a beam axle and the new 2.0-liter four-cylinder gets some real high 13:1 compression.
Perhaps more importantly for buyers, this Corolla has moved fully away from being a penalty box like the older ones sometimes were. It has an eight-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa Connectivity, wireless device charging, and the safety suite that includes brake assist, dynamic radar cruise control and lane departure alerts. Not bad for any car, let alone a damn Corolla.
Full specs aren’t out yet, but we’ll know at the full reveal at the New York Auto Show next week.