Now here is something marrying class and youth – a car for the young enthusiasts. Toyota has recently launched the Corolla Altis Sports model which is a limited edition variant of the Corolla Altis. The car has been adapted to carry a sporty image, instead of the more distinguished look of the original Altis, thus representing youth and enthusiasm in its designs and features. So what makes its different from ‘the normal variant’?
The new model is peppier and comes with an aerodynamic front and a rear bumper spoiler. The sporty and sleek look is further improved with rear LED spoilers, sleeker side skirts, and a well garnished head lamp.
The interiors have also had a make-over and have an upgraded look. The interior fabric is set in contemporary dual tone with an overall wooden finish inside. The Sports Edition Altis also comes with rear cup holders, for what it’s worth.
Other features inside the cabin are largely the same with rear reading light, leather seat covers, wooden shift door knob, trunk mat, floor mat, car cushion, leather seat covers for front and rear, cargo net, etc.
Despite being dubbed ‘Sports’, there has been no change in the Altis’ power train and the car is powered by the same 1.8 litre VVT-i, gasoline, 4 cylinder inline engine that delivers 132 PS@6000 rpm and torque of 170 Nm @ 4200 rpm. The car has a 5-speed manual gearbox.
Safety features are also similar to the regular Altis and it comes with ABS with EBD, airbags for driver and passenger and front fog lamps.
As a result, the car’s driving experience and performance is for all intents identical to the regular Altis.
Versus the Corolla Altis top models (1.8GL and VL), the Sports model does miss a number of safety features, such as a headlamp leveling system, some comfort features in terms of the seatings, and cruise control.
The Corolla has been appreciated by its customers for its luxury and comfort features that are in line with the best cars in its segment. Its range of competitors includes the Honda Civic and the Skoda Laura. For an analysis of the key indicators of these cars, you may check out this comparison of the Laura, Civic and Altis.. Performance and pricing wise, these cars are quite similar.
Of the Altis Sports edition, only 300 units will be produced and the car is priced at Rs. 11.15 lakh and above (ex-showroom, Delhi). This makes it reasonably priced compared to the other Altis models.
The Altis Sports edition comes in two colours, metallic grey and metallic silver.
CNG Edition Altis on the cards
Apart from its Limited Edition Sports model, Toyota Corolla CNG model is also slated for a launch in October 2009. The test mule has been doing test drives and the car is set to be matted with a modern Sequential Injection system, along with its own ECU. It will enable the car to deliver fuel economy without compromising on performance or drivability. The new engine has been tested to deliver 20km per kg of CNG without compromising on output. While some f the CNG vehicles have been known to fail in performance while delivering fuel economy, the company has stated that the new CNG Corolla does not face this problem.
Chevrolet Optra is the only car that has CNG option in this segment so far so Corolla Altis CNG is expected to be quite competitive and a leader in the higher its segment. The CNG model is expected to get slightly modified suspension set up at the rear which will make it capable of carrying the CNG kit.
The technical features of the Sports edition remain the same as the normal Altis; the changes are in the external appearance with introduction of new bold design outlines and some added internal features. These features to give a better impression on- and offroad. Moreover, to emphasize the limited character of the car, Toyota is giving unique owner code for the limited stock of 300 units.
However, the Sports label is misleading in that it doesn’t give the car any performance boost. From that perspective, the car would not be attractive to the performance junkies.
The Corolla Altis has been one of the favorite cars in the high-end luxury sedan segment. When we consider the Sports edition, the changes would perhaps not be enough to tip the scales if one is yet undecided. But for those already considering to buy an Altis, the Sports edition would be an option to get a unique car at a similar price.