The bold new design of the next-generation Toyota Auris has been previewed in these leaked patent drawings. The new Auris, due to be revealed in concept car form by the end of this year ahead of a 2013 launch, is the latest model to have some visual flair injected into it as part of Toyota boss Akio Toyoda’s brief to create “more characterful models”.
Images surfaced on the internet last week of the new Auris’s Japanese sister car, the Corolla. Toyota confirmed they were not wholly representative of the UK-spec car. The patent drawings obtained by Autocar were registered in Germany, and reveal the concept car that will lead the way to the more distinctive Auris production car.
Toyoda has tasked Toyota Europe with developing the firm’s future core models for the market from the Aygo to the Avensis in size. The first model to come from this initiative is the new Yaris Hybrid, which will be followed by the new Auris.
As well as focusing on bold design, future Toyotas will put a much greater emphasis on more involving driving dynamics, something for which the current Auris has been criticised.
The new Auris’s platform is understood to have been engineered with a hybrid drivetrain in mind. The current Auris Hybrid had the Prius’s drivetrain engineered into it mid-way through its life, compromising on boot capacity.
Lessons learned from reducing the size, weight and efficiency of the hybrid drivetrain from the Prius and Auris to fit in the smaller Yaris will be incorporated into the new Auris hybrid.
Updated versions of today’s 1.3 and 1.6-litre petrol engines are likely to carry over from launch, but the chief addition to the next-generation Auris line-up shortly after launch will be BMW diesel engines. Both 1.6 and 2.0-litre BMW oil-burners are tipped to be offered, which could help push the Auris into the mainstream.
Toyota’s Burnaston plant in Derbyshire will be the sole factory building the new Auris hatchback. An estate model is also planned, as is a small saloon, but the UK is unlikely to take the latter due to their relative unpopularity here.
There has been speculation that Toyota is set to ditch the Auris name, in favour of a new badge or a return to Corolla. But Autocar understands the Auris badge will remain for the new model.