Toyota is confident its all-new Auris will be a bigger hit with car buyers thanks to improved dynamics and a more distinctive look.
Set to enter UK showrooms at the beginning of 2013, the new car — which will be built at Toyota’s Burnaston plant in Derbyshire, and goes head-to-head with the VW Golf and Ford Focus — will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show net month.
The new sleeker-in-profile Auris gets a much more distinctive front-end look than the forgettable current car. There’s a bolder grille, sleeker headlights and LED daytime running lights.
At the rear, features include wraparound taillights, a pronounced bumper and a wider opening tailgate.
The new model is not only stiffer and up to 40kg lighter, depending on the version, but it’s also longer and lower than the current car.
At 4275mm long, 1760mm wide and 1460mm high, the new Auris is 30mm longer, the same width as and 55mm lower than the car it replaces. That height makes it the lowest car in its class.
And though the wheelbase stays at 2600mm, the boot capacity is increased by six litres (127 litres in the Auris Hybrid) to 360 litres.
Though Toyota hasn’t revealed specification or economy details of the powertrains, the new Auris will be available with a range of petrol, diesel and hybrid engines.
While the sole diesel will be a 1.4-litre unit, the base petrol will be powered by a 1.3-litre engine. A larger 1.6-litre petrol will also be available.
It’s also expected that the Auris Hybrid’s drivetrain will be a development of the current 1.8-litre petrol engine/electric motor and nickel-metal hydride battery set-up. However, unlike the current car, the new Auris has been designed from the outset to accommodate hybrid power, so there is no compromise on interior or luggage space.