Making its world debut at the 2018 Geneva motor show, the third generation Auris features a more dynamic exterior design and, with a brand new 2.0 litre full hybrid powertrain joining the engine line-up, marks the debut of Toyota’s dual hybrid strategy.
Toyota has always prided itself on listening to its customers and responding to the feedback they provide. In particular -after 20 years of hybrid leadership and more than 11 million global sales, including over 1.5 million units in Europe- the company is interested to learn from them as to how it can keep improving its hybrids and make them more attractive to new types of customers.
For this reason, Toyota has decided to offer its core models with a choice of two hybrid powertrains; one providing the traditional benefits of fuel efficiency and a relaxing drive, the second building on these strengths with greater power and more dynamic driving characteristics.
In 2010, the first generation Auris was the first high volume, core Toyota model in Europe to benefit from hybrid drive, and now it will be the first model to offer this choice of hybrid powertrains.
The current Auris powertrain line-up consists of five conventional engines and one hybrid powertrain. However, reflecting the brand’s continued focus towards hybrid technology, the new Auris will offer customers just one conventional engine -a 1.2 litre turbo petrol unit- and a choice of 122 hp, 1.8 litre or 180 hp, 2.0 litre hybrid powertrains.
The 1.8 litre system fulfils all the requirements that customers have come to expect from a Toyota full hybrid powertrain -silent, intuitive, responsive and self-sufficient EV technology with low cost of ownership, no need for plug-in recharging, offering outstanding fuel economy and low CO2 emissions, and up to 50% all-electric driving on the everyday commute.
Whilst continuing to reward customers with all of the above benefits, the 2.0 litre system takes full advantage of the added ride comfort, stability, handling and driving enjoyment inherent in the newly adopted Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. It will offer drivers an ‘energised drive’, with more power and steering wheel-mounted paddles for a more dynamic, engaging driving experience.
TOYOTA NEW GLOBAL ARCHITECTURE (TNGA)
Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) represents the foundation for all of Toyota’s future powertrain and vehicle development. It marks a revolution in the way the company designs, engineers and manufactures vehicles, and is integral to the company’s mission to build ever better cars that are more stylish, more enjoyable to drive and even safer.
TNGA introduces new, defined guidelines for the positioning of different state-of-the-art components which simplify vehicle design in key areas. The impact is on items that are largely out of sight, so designers still had the freedom to give the new Auris a visually distinctive and individual look with a lower stance and more appealing proportions.
The new Auris’ TNGA platform guarantees a more rewarding driving experience thanks to a centre of gravity, multi-link rear suspension, and a more rigid body shell through the use of high strength steel as reinforcement in key areas. All contribute to better handling and stability without compromising ride and comfort.
All new TNGA-based vehicles prioritise the highest active and passive safety standards. New Auris is designed to meet the exacting standards of independent crash testing programmes and provide increased safety levels through the sophisticated functions and systems of the latest Toyota Safety Sense technology.
‘Our primary goal with the new Auris was to create the most bold and dynamic hatchback on the market, without compromising on interior usability,’ explains Simon Humphries, Executive General Manager, Toyota Global Design.
‘Harnessing the low centre of gravity afforded by the TNGA layout, the vehicle is light and agile in the side view, yet as we move to the rear, the architecture transforms to create a solid, wide and low stance that is absolutely critical to the European market.’
Longer and lower than its predecessor, the new Auris adopts a significantly more dynamic design and more striking frontal styling.
Overall length has increased by 40 mm, all of which has been absorbed within a longer wheelbase. Importantly, the overall height of the new hatchback has been reduced by some 25 mm, whilst the cowl height of the vehicle is a significant 47 mm lower than that of the current model. The result is a sleeker shape and a more attractive, lower bonnet, which in turn improves safety by giving the driver a clearer forward view.
The new frontal styling is a further evolution of Toyota’s Under Priority Catamaran and Keen Look design philosophies. Beneath the curved front edge of a flatter, clamshell bonnet, the narrow upper grille incorporates a central Toyota logo and, at its extremities, new, all-LED headlamp clusters with integral Daytime Running Lights (DRL).
The surround to the large, trapezoidal lower grille projects powerfully forward of the bonnet front edge and upper grille in a pronounced step, and is less pointed and more vertical than before, resulting in a reduction to the vehicle’s front overhang of some 20 mm.
The sides of the grille surround form a trademark, catamaran hull shape at the front corners of the new Auris, emphasising the vehicle’s 30 mm increase in width, and its broad, sporting stance.
Beneath the grille, the surround splits to clearly define the lip of a front spoiler, the edges of which are angled upwards to create a zone between the spoiler and the catamaran hull form, in which are housed LED foglamps. The grille mesh itself is of a new design, which is more articulate and refined than the classic honeycomb finish.
The new rear design is more rounded than before in plan form, strengthening the visual relationship between the front and rear of the vehicle. An increase in rear windscreen rake of some 14 degrees and the muscular hip adopted above the rear wheel arch combine to make the overall appearance of the vehicle rear more compact, despite an increase in rear overhang of 20 mm. A roof spoiler is fitted, as standard, on all model grades.
The rear all-LED lamp clusters feature light guides designed to emphasise the new Auris’ wide, planted rear stance. And the rear bumper styling echoes the frontal Under Priority Catamaran design; a thin lower lip here incorporating twin chrome inserts.
The new Auris’ dynamic design is further emphasised through an optional bi-tone colour scheme, which combines the body colour with a black finish to the roof and all glazing pillars.