Before I have to begrudgingly pull the trigger on a Civic SI...I'd like to know if there's any chance Toyota will give us a 2.4 Liter XRS like car in the near future?
I'm not really a fan of the school boy look of the Civic. Would much prefer the classier Toyota.
Be really nice to see an option for a genuine hi-po Corolla in the future, but I won't hold my breath.
Honda is really stepping up their performance, engine development gain while Toyota is sitting more conservatively. Their type R will likely be a game changer, if they bring it state-side, which is looking like a strong possibility.
Since most of more recent "sport oriented" Corollas were mainly cosmetic in nature, with the exception was the 9th gen Corolla XRS with the 1.8L 2ZZ-GE, though even that was a "fluke", as that was just using up leftover inventory before emissions kills it - and the current generation is more fuel efficiency tuned - unlikely you'll see a high performance Corolla.
Toyota is just has a tough time getting their performance oriented offerings to sell well. Even with their Subaru cross-over engineering with the Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ twins - sales of those were pretty dismal, falling short of even their conservative initial sales estimates.
Be nice if Toyota will just shoe horn a Camry engine w/ a manual tranny into the new Corolla. It would probably cost very little to engineer, if they take advantage of existing Camry parts bin.
I mean it would be much cheaper than developing a new car like the FRS/BRZ.
Such a Corolla would sell like hot cakes.
There is the amazing 2015 Scion tC, although I'm going for the new generation, Alliston Ontario Canada built, 2016 Honda Civic Fastback Coupe, with state-of-the-art direct-injected 1.5 turbo-charged VTEC Atkinson cycle, Earth Dreams technology engine.
Problem is, you are also fighting the Toyota "appliance" stigma. They actually did cram the 2.4L Camry engine in the Corolla chassis in the last generation - priced it about $2k higher than the base 1.8L engine - it ended up selling very poorly. Buyers weren't willing to spend that small difference in price for more performance.
Same with manual transaxles, their overall sales only account for extremely small faction of Toyota's total sales. At one local Toyota dealership I asked why he didn't have ANY manual transaxled cars on the lot. He said it only accounted for a fraction of a percent in his sales - they only sold a handful of manuals compared to thousands of automatics in any given year.
dom alludes to a valid point, might have to look outside the Toyota nameplate to get what you want. The 2015 Scion tC he mentioned is pretty nice. Dual VVT-I, variable length induction system, they squared off the body, so it is less jellybean like than the previous generation. 6-speed manual standard, even on the loaded up models. Sure, it doesn't have a Toyota nameplate, but all Toyota corporation running bits - so reliability and cross-shopping parts is there. Granted a lot more money than a Corolla - but compared to a similarly sized Camry - the Scion is actually a good deal.
I'm hoping the partnership with Subaru and Akio Toyoda at the helm will help inject some performance in the lower end to mid end price point. But seeing that they are still trying to launch the revamped Supra - could be a while before we see anything come to be.
Thanks for the heads up on the Scion. Wow! I had no idea, they are offering such incredible models. It looks to rival the Civic SI, but $4000 cheaper than the Civic.
Yup - Scion has cranked out some decent models. Priced pretty well and lots of aftermarket support, compared to the vanilla Toyota nameplate. The Scion FR-S is actually a closer match to the Honda Civic Si, in terms of performance and content. Actually the FR-S was one of the cars that the Civic Si was specifically targeting, even through it is hard to compare the FR layout of the FR-S vs the FF layout of the Civic.
Honda Civic Si also takes premium fuel like the FR-S - Scion tC takes regular.
Also a good idea to check out the insurance costs. I'm currently looking to add another new / newer car to my current daily drivers - Honda Civic Si, Scion tC, Scion FR-S, Corolla, and Subaru Impreza 2.0i were on the top of my list (reliability wise). Out of them all, the FR-S and Impreza were the least expensive to insure, tC and Corolla were about the same, but the Civic was almost 50% more than the FR-S / Impreza ?!