What is it?
Imagine a Toyota Auris, spiffed up, sportified a touch and with a burbling 3.5 V6 nestling under the bonnet. That's what this is, and in its native Japan it's known as the Toyota Blade Master-G.
A VW Golf-style premium hatch that’s several times smoother, faster and more interesting than the capable but not class-leading Auris, this Blade Master-G is apparently too niche, exotic and CO2 suspect to make it anywhere near the UK, alas.
What's it like?
The Master-G proves pretty entertaining, as you might expect thanks to its big-engined formula and 276bhp and 254lb ft.
This 3456 cc V6 unit (lifted from the Lexus IS350) delivers the kind of instant power, zest and tractability the regular 2.4-litre Blade (another Japan-only product) and Auris can only dream of.
Refinement, too, for the V6 is creamily smooth all the way to the 6400rpm red line and with a wide power band, the Master-G really does just pick up and go, although the throttle response could be sharper. It sounds just the job, too.
A slick, quick-shifting six-speed auto with steering wheel paddle shifts is also part of the extensive spec list.