Last year Toyota halted development on the next Corolla because it looked too dull. They went back to the drawing board, and the result is this, the Auris Space. Makes you wonder exactly how plain the original replacement was…
Anyway, the Auris Space is a preview of the production car, also to be called Auris. Although the production car will feature a toned-down version of the concept’s ‘vibrant clarity’ design, the mix of Corolla and Yaris in the front end will remain much the same.
The basic proportions of the car – with its upwards-tapering waistline, mild forward stance and short overhangs will also carry into the production car.
Less likely to see factory tooling is the interior. As with Ford’s Iosis X and Skoda's Joyster concepts, there is a panoramic glass roof, while the centre console has a space beneath it, Volvo S40-style.
The production Auris will use the platform from the new Corolla saloon, which goes on sale in Japan on October 10.
Despite its global prominence, Toyota has always lacked a big-selling Focus rival in Europe. The Auris will mark a slight shift upmarket, to compete with the Alfa 147 and VW Golf, but we have our doubts that it will conquer those competitors with looks as bland as these.
+ Toyota has also unveiled a hot Yaris, with a 130bhp 1.8-litre petrol engine. That means 0-60mph in 9.3sec for the Yaris TS, which goes on sale from spring 2007.
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