While the all-new 2014 Corolla includes amplified elements of style, design, the engineering effort focused on improving fuel economy and handling to complement the Corolla’s legendary reliability.
The new Corolla LE Eco model will offer an estimated EPA highway fuel economy of 42 mpg, making it the most fuel efficient gasoline only compact sedan with an automatic transmission in the segment. The Corolla LE Eco is a new grade that enhances the fuel economy with an efficient CVT, a more efficient 1.8-liter engine with Valvematic technology, aerodynamic underbody covers, color-keyed rear spoiler, and low rolling resistance tires on 15-inch wheels or available 16-inch aerodynamic alloy wheels.
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Efforts to reduce wind resistance have helped the new Corolla achieve a drag coefficient of 0.28, which places it near the top of the compact-sedan class. Careful attention has been taken to refine airflow and reduce turbulence over the front and rear edges of the car. The Corolla’s underbody features a smoother, flatter smoother design to help reduce turbulent airflow. Both the LE Eco grade and S grade offer strategically placed vehicle under covers located below the bumper fascia, engine, front floor, rear floor, and fuel tank to help manage airflow under the vehicle for improved efficiency.
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The 2014 Corolla offers two efficient 1.8-liter, all-aluminum four-cylinder engines. The base 1.8-liter unit with VVT-i is available on the L, LE, and S grades and is rated at 132 horsepower. The Corolla’s new LE Eco trim level is equipped with a 1.8-liter engine with Valvematic , a valve train technology which appears for the first time in North America with Corolla. Valvematic offers a broader range of continuously variable valve timing (lift and phasing) to provide optimal intake valve (not on exhaust side) operation relative to engine demands. Valvematic offers more than a five-percent improvement in fuel economy and engine output (140 horsepower).
The 2014 Corolla also offers improved fuel economy thanks to its advanced Continuously Variable Transmission. This CVTi-S (i for intelligent, S for shift), which will be available on the LE, S, and LE Eco Corolla models, features several enhancements to improve its efficiency and driving performance with discrete shift points that help create a sensation more similar to a traditional hydraulic automatic transmission.
While the efficiency and reduced weight inherent in a pulley-type CVT would seem an ideal solution for vehicles emphasizing fuel efficiency, the characteristic CVT “rubber band” driving sensation of the engine winding to its power band upon acceleration has earned detractors. With Corolla’s new CVTi-S, Toyota’s engineers improved the drivability of the new 2014 Corolla by adapting discrete stepped “gears” or shift points, into the car’s acceleration and deceleration curves. The Corolla’s new CVTi-S even mimics the familiar characteristics of hydraulic automatics creating a sense of positive shift engagement. On the Corolla S trim, up to seven shift-points can also be manually actuated from the shift gate or steering wheel paddle shifters.
As the first pulley-style CVT product offered by Toyota in North America, the engineering effort prioritized making the new CVTi-S’ operation and power application more appealing and familiar to North American drivers. Corolla’s engineers maximized the fuel saving design inherent in a pulley CVT while enhancing its operation to provide a more “direct feel” to pedal inputs through careful analysis of traditional automatic transmission operation. The new CVTi-S will provide a more linear connection between pedal effort and acceleration feel compared to previous CVT designs.