More Altis Details Leaking Out - E20 Confirmed

"All New Toyota Altis" time again! The E20 compatibility is confirmed, as are the engine sizes. As we previously understood, we will see the same displacements of 1.6 and 1.8 litre in the new Altis, although the power ratings have not been confirmed, but it is most likely that they will not be the Dual VVT-i units that they're getting elsewhere.

2008 Corolla Altis Image

However, the good news is that both engines will be E20 compatible and even if this won't amount to the Altis being substantially cheaper than the outgoing model, it should allow Toyota to be very competitive in the market, since all competition apart from Chevrolet have also confirmed E20 capable versions so the pricing is down across the segment in Thailand........

What's new?

Expect the new Altis to have a significant increase in equipment levels over the previous model. Expect four-wheel disc brakes to be standard across the range, and the auto transmission is now a gate type on the 1.6 as well as the 1.8 models, with the 1.8 including a manual sift mode on the automatic unit.

Other high-end model specification will include "headlights that turn with the steering" to improve visibility when turning corners, and "Vehicle Stability Control" will also be a feature on the higher end models.

According to Yuadyaan (Thai newspaper) Toyota Thailand had planned launch with the automatic models first, with the manual versions following six months later. But the launch is now to be simultaneous.

When will these be turned into Taxis?

Very soon! But the biggest selling model for use in Taxis is the Limo model, which is basically a stripped down version with as few bells and whistles as possible, and that probably won't be available until later in the year, or even early 2009.

But that won't stop companies turning the "J" model (if Toyota maintain their naming convention) into pink, blue, red, yellow/green, Taxi Meters in the time before the Limo is launched.

The new Corolla Altis will be out very soon. You can start holding your breath now.

Update 2-Feb-08 : Read test drive review of 2008 Toyota Corolla Altis in Thailand!