Toyota Auris: the lowdown
Toyota has killed off the Corolla name in Europe and replaced it with the all new Auris, in a move reminiscent of Ford's Escort to Focus switch. Although the Auris is billed as a concept, it's production ready bar a few minor details. What you see here is what you'll get when the three- and five-door hatches arrive in uk showrooms early next year. Expect a slight price rise; the Auris will kick off around £11,500.
Why the name change?
Stung by criticism of the utterly forgettable outgoing car Toyota decided on a clean sheet change with the mark eleven - hence the name change. That said, the Corolla name will still continue outside of Europe, and be used for the saloon version sold in the US and Japan.
Styled in France at Toyota's European design centre, there's little drama with the Aurius although it has some neat touches. Check out the bold head- and tail-lamp graphics, that distinctive kink in the flanks behind the front wheelarches and the split exhaust pipes. The cabin with its cowled instruments high mounted gearlever and button-laden raised centred console is intelligently coinfigured.
Chassis and engines
The Auris is built on an all new platform claimed to be sign stiffer than the outgoing Corolla's. There will be five engines to choose from at launch: a 1.4 and new 1.6 petrol fours, the Yaris's 1.4 diesel and the new tax friendly 2.0 diesel just introduced in the Avensis. The 2.2-litre D-4D will also be offered. Five and six-speed manuals will be available along with six-cog semi autos.
Toyota hopes the new car will boost annual sales from 18-22k in the UK. The five-door will be built in Turkey, the three-door at Burnaston in Britain. Don't expect the two models to look different, Astra-style.