Matrix' successor will have a Mazda3 feel
By MARK RECHTIN | AUTOMOTIVE NEWS
AutoWeek | Updated: 02/12/07, 12:06 pm et
LOS ANGELES - Toyota will replace the Matrix in spring 2008 with a sleek hatchback inspired by the brisk-selling Mazda3.
Toyota insiders say the Mazda3 -- the hip cool car in the compact class -- is the visual benchmark for the Matrix successor, which is expected to be called the Blade.
The Corolla-based hatchback will get a narrower greenhouse and thicker C-pillar than the Matrix has.
The vehicle already is sold in Europe as the Auris and in Japan as the Blade.
But the U.S. version will have its own sheet metal, including a different belt line.
Toyota registered the Blade name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The Japan-market Blade is powered by a 158-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 161 pounds-feet of torque.
That would be a step up from the Matrix's 1.8-liter engine's 126 hp and 122 pounds-feet of torque.