While Toyota confirmed that it will start production of the Tundra and Corolla redesigns in 2013 and will offer revisions of the RAV4, Avalon and Highlander, it’s likely that the Corolla-based Matrix hatchback won’t be renewed for the U.S. market when the redesigned Corolla arrives next fall.
During the press introduction of the RAV4, Toyota Division boss Bill Fay said that it “won't be the end of the world” for the company if the Matrix is dropped.
He said that the Matrix will still be offered in Canada. Fay clarified that Honda will build a subcompact crossover that uses the Fit platform but it doesn’t intend to offer a crossover below the RAV4. He added that the Rav is the smallest that the company plans to get since it has all or majority of the customer’s requirements in this segment.
In 2012, the Toyota brand widened its market share by 1.4 points to 12.2%. Fay said that Toyota aims to achieve faster growth than the industry in 2013 too. However, he didn’t provide a volume target. It’s believed that Toyota will kick off its "Let's Go Places" umbrella advertising campaign with an ad during the Super Bowl.
But then, Fay said that he’s not certain if it will show off the either the RAV4, Avalon or both. This year, Scion sales have grown by 51% and they’re likely to end up at about 75,000 units.
This still fails to meet Fay’s expectations for the brand. He hoped to get around 100,000 in the near term. Fay said that there has to be certain volume to sustain the attention of everybody. The automaker has been talking to its dealerships about Scion being “more than just volume” amid their desire to have Scion make 200,000-300,000.
Developed around a rigid and stiff body structure, the Toyota Matrix relies upon the steels, crossmembers and gussets with high tensile-strength for its light weight, rigidity and strength. The suspension on the front is made up of a small, robust L-arm-type independent MacPherson strut built with a stabilizer bar. The Matrix also has a double-wishbone posterior suspension that features a coil-over-shock configuration which enhances ride comfort and handling with its efficient packaging.
Common to all Matrix models are the four-wheel disc brakes. The Matrix grade has ventilated front discs measuring 10.7 inches and solid rear discs measuring 10.1 inches. The Matrix S, on the other hand, has 10.9-in solid rear discs (11.0-in for all-wheel drive) and 11.6-in ventilated front discs.
The modern 16-in steel wheels of the new Toyota Matrix are designed with P205/55R16 tires and athletic six-spoke full-wheel covers. Also offered for Matrix S are the latest 17-in five-spoke alloy wheels with 215/45R17 tires.
The active torque control of the Toyota Matrix S’s all-wheel drive system is based on the front-wheel drive configuration and allocates torque to the back wheels by its electromagnetic couples as necessary like in instances when there’s heavy acceleration or when there’s slip in the front wheels.
This system for active torque control identifies available traction through the signals that were created by the ABS sensors in every wheel to the ECU. TRAC (Traction Control) also offers an additional measure to manage wheel slip on both AWD and front-wheel drive models.