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New Altis ESport hits the road

Toyota isn't sitting back and taking it easy: hot on the heels of its new Corolla Altis launch comes the sedan's sporty version called the ESport.

Although nothing has been done to the engine to raise output or performance, the ESport - priced at Bt899,000 - comes of course with some additions. Apart from an upgraded suspension that is sportier than the regular Altis versions, the ESport has an underbody diffusor as well as aerodynamic fins on the side-view mirrors and rear indicator light housings.

Toyota claims the fins help improve aerodynamics as well as fuel consumption since there is lower air resistance. The car also comes with a different front grille, sporting a "Gun Metallic" strip, an aerodynamic body kit, LED projector headlights with LED daytime running lights, "Surface Illumination" LED rear lights, and 17-inch alloy wheels.

On the inside, there is also a list of special equipment such as black upholstery, bucket front seats, "Cyber Carbon" trim with padding, a 4-way adjustable multi-function steering wheel, paddle gear shifters and a "jack-knife" key.

Last year for the first time in history, Honda left Toyota sniffing the dust in Thai passenger car sales, partly due to the late introduction of Toyota's Yaris eco-car and the phasing out of the previous Corolla Altis model. However, Toyota Motor Thailand president Kyoichi Tanada said the company is now confident of regaining the passenger car crown this year, once its new models start taking off.


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