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September 17, 2008

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All-New 2009 The Toyota Corolla Matrix Completely redesigned

Toyota Corolla Matrix

The Toyota Corolla Matrix, the sporty five-door vehicle that helped redefine the concept of a crossover vehicle, has been redesigned for the 2009 model year to offer better performance while maintaining fuel economy with a wider choice of functional options.

Designers created a more coupe-inspired exterior while providing enhanced interior utility and improved dynamic performance. The result is a package that has a wider, lower stance than the previous model, but maintains driver roominess and creates a more engaging to drive. The 2009 Matrix offers the choice of two different engines, 1.8- or 2.4-liters, a five-speed manual transmission, and either four- or five-speed automatic transmissions.

Matrix is available in three grades – Standard, S and the XRS. All-wheel drive (AWD) returns to the Matrix in the S grade, teamed to the new 2.4-liter engine. The 2009 Matrix is offered with a choice of fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines: a new 1.8-liter and re-engineered 2.4-liter. The Matrix Standard, S and XRS are equipped with the all-new 1.8-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine, which produces 132 hp at 6,000 rpm and 128 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm.

Dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing with intelligence) controls valve timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts to help optimize performance and economy. Internal components are optimized to reduce friction, and valve-train components are downsized to provide a compact valve layout.

A five-speed manual transmission is standard with the 1.8-liter engine, and a four-speed automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission (ECT) is available. Both automatics use a torque converter with flex lockup for increased fuel efficiency. Uphill/downhill shift control selects the proper gear for conditions and helps provide moderate engine braking during downhill driving.

The five-speed automatic can be manually shifted by moving the shift lever to the left from its “D” position into the “S” position, then pushing forward for upshifts and back for downshifts. An indicator inside the combination gauge shows the gear selected.

The Matrix XRS features the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Every engine part was changed to reduce friction, increase output and ensure smooth, quiet operation. The 2.4-liter produces 158 hp at 6,000 rpm and 162 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. A balance shaft suppresses vibration, and oil jets to help piston cooling. The exhaust system is engineered for reduced backpressure for improved performance.

Photos: Toyota

(Sept. 17, 2008)

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