A source told Autocar that the Corolla, which will return the moniker to the UK for the first time since 2007, would be tasked with turning around the declining sales of the Auris. Toyota delivered 13,983 Aurises in the first 11 months of 2017, compared with 16,528 in 2016.
Although the Corolla has been absent from Britain for 11 years, cars bearing its name have remained on sale in other global markets since it was first introduced in 1966.
The new UK model will arrive as the current international Corolla, which has been on sale since 2013, is replaced with a family of models.
Alongside the hatchback headed to Britain, an estate is also likely as a replacement for the Auris Touring Sports. The range will be built on Toyota’s New Global Architecture platform and is predicted to come with petrol and hybrid powertrains. Our source said the 1.2-litre direct injection petrol and 1.8-litre hybrid powetrain currently featured in the Auris could be included in updated forms.
No diesel option will be offered because Toyota removed both Auris diesel models from showrooms at the end of last year. The brand delivered just 651 Auris diesels in 2017.
Toyota is also considering removing the Avensis from its line-up when the current version goes off-sale later this year, due to dwindling sales in the Ford Mondeo-sized segment. It sold 3302 Avensis models last year up until the end of November, which was well short of the 5133 mark set in 2016. The Corolla saloon sold elsewhere could indirectly fill the gap left by the departed Avensis, to ensure Toyota keeps at least one saloon offering.