SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Dramatic sights, sounds and tastes helped introduce the strikingly re-styled 11th generation Toyota Corolla at a packed celebration inside Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. on Thursday night.
More than 750 consumers, journalists and Toyota guests took in a captivating theatrical performance by Fuerza Bruta, fog clouds from celebrity chef Richard Blais's liquid nitrogen cocktails, and the capstone reveal of the 2014 Corolla lowered from the rafters with a surprise visit from comedian Adam Carolla.
The multi-sensory experiences celebrated an iconic compact vehicle with nearly 50 years of success and almost 40 million global sales. The sleeker, more advanced 2014 Corolla features chiseled, modern character lines, a more premium interior, improved fuel economy and an enhanced driving performance. Each trim level (L, LE, LE Eco, and S) will offer a range of popular features designed to delight current Toyota customers and attract new, youthful buyers.
"Full of surprises and unexpected features, this global reveal event captured the new era and elevated experience of the redesigned Corolla," said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division. "As our second best-selling vehicle and a familiar sight on American roadways, the new Corolla retains its trusted quality and reliability while adding an exciting new look and energy."
At the beginning of the evening, guests sampled innovative culinary creations including roasted pork belly with licorice grits and pickled peaches from Blais's custom menu. Blais, who recently published his first cookbook, Try This at Home, is perhaps best known from his appearance on Season 4 of Bravo's hit show "Top Chef" and his winning run on "Top Chef All-Stars," for which he received his own Corolla among other prizes. Partnering with Los Angeles gourmet catering company Along Came Mary, Blais prepared items in front of guests, including the fog-inducing liquid nitrogen margaritas.
After tasting from each culinary station, guests were ushered into a newly revealed second space where the first of three viscerally stimulating Fuerza Bruta acts began. Fuerza Bruta ("brute force" in Spanish) is a critically acclaimed, live experience show first founded in Argentina then introduced in New York City in 2007. Elevated above the guests, some in tanks of water, the performers put on a 30-minute, high-energy acrobatic show.
As a finale to the spectacular performance, a 2014 Corolla descended from the ceiling while three additional new Corollas appeared from a hidden space, surprising and delighting guests with their new design. With a new longer wheelbase and roomier premium interior, the new Corolla offers a collection of enhanced features including standard LED headlamps and Bluetooth® connectivity, along with available touchscreen audio, backup monitor, Smart Key, paddle shifters and Entune®, Toyota's multimedia app suite.
During Fay's brief remarks about the Corolla, car enthusiast and comedian Carolla interrupted from the side of the stage and joined to joke about being the "oldest Corolla in the room," referring the similarities of the vehicle name and the comedian's own last name . Carolla further described growing up in a working class community in the 1970s and 1980s and the value of the Corolla to many friends and families. Representing that era was a 1969 Corolla, from the Toyota Museum in Torrance, Calif. In addition, three other vintage Corollas from the museum were on display, including models from 1971, 1983 and 1987.
At the conclusion of the presentation, DJs The Hood Internet kicked off music while guests were encouraged to explore and view the 2014 Corolla models.
Toyota (NYSE:TM) established operations in North America in 1957 and currently operates 14 manufacturing plants. There are more than 1,800 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in North America which sold over 2.3 million vehicles in 2012. Toyota directly employs nearly 39,000 people in North America and its investment here is currently valued at more than $27 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota's annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from North American suppliers totals over $26 billion.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos and video to accompany this story are available and can be retrieved in digital form by media without charge at www.toyotanewsroom.com.
GolinHarris for Toyota