LOS ANGELES -- The redesigned 2014 Toyota Corolla that debuts here on June 6 will have a continuously variable transmission and will be offered with a choice of two engines, company officials have told dealers.
The base 1.8-liter engine will be a carryover 132-hp four-cylinder. But dealers were informed that Toyota also will offer another 1.8-liter with more power and better fuel economy. Sources say Toyota aims to hit the 40 mpg mark with that engine for highway driving.
Because many drivers dislike the "rubber band" feel of CVT pulleys searching for the optimal power-to-economy ratio, the Corolla CVT will have "enhanced operation," to behave more like an automatic transmission, Toyota told dealers. If it's similar technology to that used in the Honda Accord's CVT, the Corolla will come with stepped-shift software, using artificial shift points.
The redesigned Corolla will ride on a wheelbase 4 inches longer than that of the current model -- close to the 106.3-inch wheelbase seen on the Corolla Furia concept unveiled at the Detroit auto show in January. The longer wheelbase will increase back-seat passenger room, but the overall length of the car will not grow by that much.
Although it would take a refined eye to spot the differences, the Corolla will have more similarities with the Yun Dong Shuang Qing II show car seen last month at the Shanghai auto show than with the Furia concept.