The 2004 Toyota Corolla | Part Five

The new front and rear spoilers and side skirts also promote the car’s sporting nature and are not just for show: each element of the body kit plays its part in terms of improving roadholding. Aerodynamic performance is sharpened thanks to aerodynamic undercovers front and rear, which smooth out the airflow beneath the car to help achieve excellent high speed handling and stability.

Fog lamps are now located at the outer ends of the front bumper air intakes. Larger door mirrors have been fitted, too, which improve driver vision and, due to their redesigned visor shape, create less wind noise.

Aluminium pedals and footrest plate have been introduced and carbon fibre-style trim sections with the T Sport logo are built into the scuff plates. The carbon fibre look also extends to the centre instrument cluster and the switch surrounds for the electric window controls. Like the T Spirit, the T Sport now benefits from rain-sensing windscreen wipers and an electrochromic auto-dipping rear-view mirror.

New-design sports seats have been fitted and the dashboard now features white-faced meters with metallic bezels and sporty red illumination.

The new Corolla T Sport doesn’t just look the part, it drives superbly, too. The 6-speed manual gearbox now has a cleaner and slicker action and the steering has a lower gear ratio than standard Corolla models. The number of turns lock to lock has been reduced from 3.5 to 3.2.

Front and rear suspension have been improved with new coil springs, shock absorbers, anti-roll bars and rebound stoppers. These changes have allowed the vehicle height to be lowered by 20mm. Lowering the centre of gravity in this way contributes to the sharper performance.

The Corolla T Sport now uses performance dampers, a first for the segment, and rebound springs at the rear to help ensure excellent steering stability.

Improved Safety

Curtain shield airbags are now fitted as standard on all models, in addition to the driver and passenger and front side airbags. A cut-off switch is introduced for the front passenger airbag, which allows the system to be deactivated if, for example, a child seat is in use on the passenger seat.

Also new to Corolla is a two-stage seatbelt warning system. This alerts the driver and front passenger if they fail to buckle-up, by means of a warning light and a buzzer. If the seatbelts remain undone, the buzzer becomes louder and more rapid.

continues... | Part Six
Published 19 June 2004 Melanie Carter

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