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Toyota hints at racier new Corolla design

  • Toyota unveils its Corolla Furia Concept car during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

DETROIT — The Toyota Corolla is getting a facelift. But the jury is still out on how extreme its makeover should be.

Toyota hinted at a new, edgier style for the staid compact at the Detroit auto show on Monday. The cautious Japanese automaker unveiled a car that could become the blueprint for the 2014 model. It ditches the current Corolla's soft, bland styling in favor of sharper lines, a dramatically sloped windshield and more aggressive headlights.

The redesign could ultimately get incorporated into the next Corolla, or get dropped. It all depends on how people react to the changes.

Still, the world's largest automaker knows it needs to update the Corolla if it wants to attract younger buyers, who have been flocking to newer, more stylish rivals like the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra. The Corolla was last revamped four years ago.

Even though Corolla's U.S. sales rose 21 percent to 290,947 last year, they trailed the Honda Civic, which was new in 2012. Civic sales jumped 44 percent to 317,909.


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