These are the best spy pictures yet of the replacement for the current-generation Toyota Auris in testing. The new model is likely to be seen at the Paris motor show in October, before going on sale in 2013.
The new Auris will be designed and engineered in Europe, and built at Toyota’s soon-to-be-expanded plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire. The plant was recently the subject of a £100 million investment, which will lead to the creation of up to 1500 jobs.
A highly-competitive BMW diesel engine will be added to the Auris range as part of a recent tie-up between BMW and Toyota. This should raise the appeal of the Auris, which struggles to make an impact on rivals like the Ford Focus and VW Golf.
And the Auris should also benefit from an increased focus on fresh styling and enjoyable driving dynamics, to be prioritised under the Global Vision 2020 Vision plan announced by Toyota boss Akio Toyoda in 2011.
Toyota’s Global Vision 2020 Vision plan will also give TME much-greater control over the development of the Yaris, Auris and Avensis ranges that it produces in Europe. The facelifted Avensis is the first model influenced by this reorganisation and is also the first to use a new design language featuring a so-called ‘keen look’ front end, the car’s nose now looking more dynamic.
Whether or not the Auris name is retained remains to be seen. When confirming production of the next-generation car last year, Toyota referred to it simply as its ‘next C-segment family car’.