2013 Detroit Auto Show: Toyota Furia Concept

Striking Concept Previews Next Corolla
By Imthishan Giado

Two facts you may or may not have known about the Corolla: first, this year is the 45th anniversary of Toyota’s evergreen small saloon arriving in the United States. And second, it’s the best selling car of all time – yes, even more than the Beetle – with more than 39 million units sold worldwide. You’d think that with that tremendous success Toyota would be content to just keep pumping the thing out of its factories worldwide – but the Japanese giant is worried.

Toyota Furia Concept

It’s with good reason. Beige is out and cool is in – and as shades of beige go, there is nothing more desperately boring than the Corolla. Despite its ubiquity, few aspire towards owning a Corolla (except perhaps in Africa and the subcontinent, where its bulletproof reliability is the stuff of legend) and Toyota knows that great sales now can easily become a memory. After all, who’s driving the Model T these days?

So that fear  – and perhaps, a little bit of brio based on the reception of the 86 – is what lead to this Furia concept, shown at the Detroit Motor Show. Ostensibly it’s a concept but make no mistake – this is a very strong hint of the direction which the next Corolla will take in terms of design. Toyota calls this theme ‘Iconic Dynamism’ and it’s a strong muscular take on a compact sedan with aggressive surfacing and a taut, muscular front end that’s definitely targeted at a younger buyer than the reliable Corolla purchaser of the past. The project headlight openings are reducing to a Batman-esque squint,  while the grille opening is enlarged to mammoth proportions, as if the Furia is trying to suck in a squirrel.

Toyota Furia Concept

The central portion of the body is interesting for what’s missing – no swage lines or swollen fenders, just a clean midsection which could frankly have come from an existing Corolla sedan. The tail is where interesting makes a return – check out those composite LED arrowhead taillights, elegantly frozen in place like liquid in crystal.

Toyota Furia Concept

First impressions – this is a striking concept made harder to judge by that luscious golden orange paintjob. Strip away the showcar appeal, big wheels and concept flair and you have a good looking car with solid appeal. In fact, this should have been what the next Civic looked like!

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