Toyota has announced the first details of an all-new model called the Auris. It will replace the Corolla in Toyota's European compact line-up. Toyota say that it is a new core model for its range that will play a key role in advancing its brand ambitions in Europe.
The Auris, which is designed and built in Europe, will join Yaris and Avensis in spearheading the company??ôs progress towards its newly-announced target of 1.2 million annual sales in Europe by 2008.
Auris has been created to meet the changing demands of the crucial C-segment family hatchback market. It offers a dynamic design and striking features and delivers the well-established hallmark Toyota values of superior quality, innovation, and driving pleasure.
In creating Auris, the designers worked from the inside out, an approach that maximises usable space in the cabin and ensures high levels of passenger comfort through elements such as a flat rear passenger floor and high window surfaces. Built on an all-new platform, Auris will be slightly bigger than the Corolla, providing more generous interior accommodation.
The interior is distinguished by innovative design that works to harmonise driver and passenger with the car. At the front the sculpted console forms a bridge that??ôs not just elegant, but practical too, raising the gear lever and other controls to the perfect ergonomic height.
On the outside Auris has a strong, dynamic, appearance that expresses its driving character. The wide body and track give a stable look and the sharply-defined architecture of the car creates a crisp, fresh feel.
Toyota Europe says the Auris model line-up will cover the full range of current and future customer demand in the European C-segment. While details of the range for Ireland have not been announced, it will be offered in most European markets in three and five-door hatchback body styles with a choice of two petrol engines (1.4 VVT-i and 1.6 Dual VVT-i) and three diesels (1.4, 2.0, and 2.2 D-4D), all of which meet Euro IV emissions standards. The new 1.6-litre petrol engine uses a dual VVT-i valve timing system for highly efficient combustion, raising fuel efficiency and increasing power.
The 2.0-litre D-4D 130 engine has a power output of 124bhp and was first utilised in the 2007 Avensis, launched a few months ago. The 2.2 D-4D 180 is equipped with Toyota??ôs unique D-CAT clean diesel technology, which simultaneously reduces nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate emissions.
A wide choice of gearboxes will also be available, including a six-speed manual transmission fitted as standard on the 2.0 D-4D 130 and 2.2 D-4D 180. A multimode system with paddle shift controls will be available as an option on the 1.4 D-4D 90 and 1.6 Dual VVT-i engines.
A Toyota Motor Europe spokesman told us: ???The C-segment is the most important segment in the European car market and many European brands are defined by the image and success of their C-segment models. With the launch of Auris we want to achieve a step-change, not only in sales volume, but also in terms of brand image for Toyota.???
Auris will be presented for the first time at the Bologna Motor Show early in December. Irish sales should start early in 2007.