Toyota will soon refresh its entire lineup of Corolla models, following the debut of the Toyota Auris – known in some markets as the Corolla Hatchback – last month. Japanese magazine Best Car has uncovered preliminary details of the Japan-only Corolla Axio sedan, as scoured by Australian website CarAdvice.

In case you aren’t aware, the Axio is shorter and narrower than to the standard Corolla sedan in order to comply with Japanese vehicle size regulations, giving buyers cheaper road tax. While the outgoing Axio and other Corolla models ride on different platforms, the new one should migrate to the modular Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) shared with the new Auris.

Best Car reports that the new model will be slightly larger than before, measuring 4,500 mm long, 1,695 mm wide and 1,455 mm. Compared to the Auris, the Axio will apparently be 130 mm longer, 95 mm wider and 20 mm taller, although it will retain the hatch’s 2,640 mm wheelbase. As before, a wagon will be offered alongside it, called the Fielder – and it will be 15 mm taller than the four-door.

The current engine lineup is expected to be carried over, albeit improved – starting with a Hybrid variant with a 1.5 litre Atkinson-cycle engine and an electric motor pushing out 75 PS and 121 Nm of torque. There will also be a 115 PS/142 Nm 1.5 litre petrol mill mated to a CVT.

If the renderings provided by Best Car are any indication, the Axio will wear a similarly bold design as the new Auris, with a slim upper grille flowing into L-shaped headlights that frame a massive lower grille. Along the side, the upswept character line wraps around the window line, while the rear features slit-like tail lights that should give the new Axio a more lasting impression than its milquetoast predecessor.

With the traditionally conservative Axio also receiving a polarising design, it will be interesting to see what the larger Corolla Altis will look like. Rendering wizard Theophilus Chin has already whipped up his idea of the car’s design using the Auris as base, and we’re hoping the real deal will be just as handsome.


GALLERY: Toyota Corolla Hatchback (US-spec)