Back in the 90's, 1.6-liter engines were commonplace in compact sedans. These days, you don't see many 1.6-liter options in that class anymore. Now, it's more common to hear 1.8-liters, 2.0-liters, or even turbocharged small displacement engines. However, one brand is sticking to the tried and true formula of 1.6-liters in a compact sedan.
That would be Toyota and, yes, they will be putting it in the next-generation Corolla sedan. However, it only appears to be for the European-spec models, but that could all change if Toyota Philippines opts to give the Corolla sedan (likely to still be called Corolla Altis) more power. With them recently putting in an new 2.5-liter engine in the RAV4, it may be a possibility.
So what's the 1.6-liter in the (Euro-spec) Corolla sedan like? It's actually a familiar engine save for one bit of technology. Toyota calls it Valvematic and it gives the standard 1.6-liter mill a bit more power. Without it, the standard 1.6-liter motor makes 122 PS and 154 Nm of torque, which is exactly the one found in our local Altis. The addition of Valvematic boosts power to 132 PS and 159 Nm of torque according to Toyota Europe.
Other things you need to know? Toyota claims it can do up to 15.8 kilometers per liter in mixed driving, has a top speed of 200 km/h, and, with a six-speed manual, can do 0 to 100 km/h in 9.7 seconds. Sounds promising for an economy oriented 1.6-liter? Mind you, this isn't an entirely new engine though.
Internally known as the 1ZR-FAE, it's actually been around since 2010 in Europe, and has powered entry-level Corollas over there since. Many parts of ASEAN (us included) on the other hand stuck to the 1ZR-FE, which is an even older design as it was first introduced in 2007. So while the more powerful 1.6-liter engine isn't all-new, at least it's more bang up to date than the non-Valvematic unit.
Of course, we won't know if the future Corolla sedan/Corolla Altis to be offered here will still get a 1.6-liter engine. By the looks of things however, it is possible that Toyota Philippines will stick to the familiar formula as none of the local offerings are available with downsized turbocharged engine options.
Should Toyota Philippines bring in the more powerful Valvematic 1600cc engine for the next-generation Corolla Altis? For the sake of more power and improved efficiency, we hope so.
Note: Euro-spec Toyota Corolla Hybrid sedan photographed in main