UPDATE: Official images of all variants added!

You’ve heard about it, seen the pictures, and have read TWO test drive reports from us – and now the facelifted Toyota Corolla Altis is officially launched. UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT) president Kuah Kock Heng rolled back the cloth at the company’s Subang 3S Centre minutes ago.

For a minor change (Toyota speak for facelift), the Altis features extensive changes which include new drivetrains across the board and a new 2.0-litre range topper. The CBU from Thailand range starts from a 1.6E (RM105,990), 1.8E (RM112,990), 1,8G (RM122,990) to the RM131,990 2.0V. Prices are on the road including insurance.

The ZZ series of engines have been replaced by the ZR range, which have twin cams, 16 valves and most significantly, Dual VVT-i. Compared to the ZZ series, the new engines feature, among other things, a roller rocker arm for the valve mechanism, diagonal squish combustion chamber, thin and long reach spark plugs, shell type exhaust manifold, resin long port intake manifold and much reduced friction.

Figures are up. The 1.6-litre has 120 PS and 154 Nm (up by 11 PS/9 Nm), the 1.8-litre has 140 PS and 173 Nm (up by 8 PS/3 Nm) while the new 2.0-litre model gets 147 PS and 187 Nm of torque from a relatively low 3,600 rpm. It’s interesting to note that while the Civic 2.0 has 1 Nm more at 188 Nm, it’s made almost 1,000 rpm higher at 4,500 rpm. In any case, the 2.0V gives good performance, as we found out over test drives on the road and track. The 1.8 and 2.0 have Acoustic Control Induction System (ACIS), a variable intake manifold system that works to optimise power/torque throughout the rev range.

The smallest engine sticks with a 4-speed auto, but 1.8 and 2.0 variants get Toyota’s Super CVT-i gearbox. This stepless transmission has seven virtual ratios in a manual mode, and the 2.0’s three-spoke flat bottomed steering wheel has shift paddles. Toyota claims improved fuel economy – the new 1.8 is 15% more frugal, while the 1.6 should be 10% less thirsty than before. An ECO indicator light is a new feature that motivates you to drive efficiently. The Optitron meters in the 1.8G and 2.0V feature another ECO bar display in the trip computer.

No major reconstruction, but the Altis’ looks are now sharper and more Camry-like. The 2.0V gets a single bar grille in dark grey to differentiate it from the chrome double bar unit on the others. The range topper also gets HID headlamps with smoked lenses. Inside, dark wood trim with matte finish replaces shiny wood in the 1.8G and 2.0V, while the seat fabric design is new in the other models.

Click here for the review. Full specs and images after the jump.

Click to enlarge

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