Exclusive images of the next Toyota Auris reveal a more distinctive look; line-up to include hybrid and BMW diesels

These are the exclusive first pictures of the all-new Toyota Auris. The new British-built hatchback, including its hybrid variant, was caught taking part in a marketing shoot in the Netherlands.

As the pictures show, the new Auris gets a much more distinctive design than the current model, which replaced the Corolla in 2007 and has never really stood out from the class-leading Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.

Toyota boss Akio Toyoda has long spoken of his desire for the world’s largest manufacturer to build cars with more character, and the designers of the new Auris have certainly created a car with more visual presence than its predecessor.

The new front end is most striking. Recent designs signed off under Toyoda, who took the reins at Toyota 2009, have all shared more angular bumpers, prominent grilles and sleek, technical headlights, and the new Auris is no exception.

The front end of the standard car is not visible in the pictures, but the next-gen Auris Hybrid reveals the direction the standard car will take. There’s a lower trapezoidal grille and a chrome-trimmed single-bar grille running into the slim headlights. Foglights flank each side of the front bumper and are housed in angular mounts.

Toyota’s hybrid models have traditionally been more visually striking than the standard cars on which they are based. This was seen most recently with the Yaris, which was criticised for its dowdy looks in base form but praised for its greater flair as a hybrid. It’s unlikely that Toyota will make the same mistake with the Auris.

The new Auris features a sharply raked windscreen, rising shoulder lines and kinked C-pillars. At the rear, the lights stand proud of the tailgate, which has a strongly defined boot release handle. The angular rear bumper is also very pronounced.

Toyoda’s ‘more characterful’ brief extends to the driving dynamics. To that end, the new Auris has been undergoing extensive testing on British roads to raise its dynamic flair.

As for engines, great emphasis will be placed on the hybrid model. Toyota reduced the weight and size but improved the efficiency of its hybrid system for the Yaris, and the lessons from that car will be applied to the new Auris Hybrid.

Updated versions of today’s 1.3-litre and 1.6-litre petrol engines are likely to be carried over for the launch. But the big news will be the arrival of new BMW diesel engines of 1.6 and 2.0 litres around a year after the Auris’s early 2013 launch. 

Toyota’s Burnaston plant will continue to build the Auris in its next generation. An estate is also planned for launch.

Our Verdict

The Toyota Auris is a spacious, but unspectacular attempt at a high quality Golf rival. Only the availability of a hybrid lifts it from obscurity

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Comments
20

25 July 2012

so nice pic, excellent car. should have good market

25 July 2012

At least it is not another faux SUV vulgarity I suppose!

25 July 2012

Looks alright.

25 July 2012

Lets hope this one is better built that the previous model. I had one for a few months, nice car but it's not a quality product - cheap plastics, squeaky brakes, rattling trim and "they all do that Sir" from the dealer. 

The Hyundai i30 that it replaced was a higher quality car and was cheaper too. The Auris is hampered by being UK built by expensive labour but using cheap materials. The i30 was made in the Czech Republic (iirc) and was the opposite, quality materials thrown together for peanuts.

25 July 2012

Much better looking than the current Auris. In contrast, the next Corolla looks nowhere near as good as the current Corolla.

25 July 2012

It looks mightily confused, like it can't decide if it wants to be an Alfa in the front (think 145) and rear, or a Honda Civic from the side. Dreadful.

25 July 2012

It could also be a Nissan from the front. Toyota's new design vision leads to this mess? Good luck on stealing Golf or even Focus buyers.

25 July 2012

Looks like Toyota's solution to making a boring car look a little more interesting (but not much) was to drop a hippo on the bonnet ...

25 July 2012

pedistrain legislation pal

25 July 2012

It's not bad. Improvement on the current model, and another car that makes Renault's new Clio look thoroughly fussy. So the new Auris may still be a bit dull, with a bit of Lexus CT here, a bit of Kia Cee'd there, a bit of Honda Civic over there, but it's certainly smarter. Reminds me a bit of Toyotas of old. Hopefully the interior will be an improvement on the current Auris and plasticky Yaris, though!

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

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