21 August 2012

Toyota Auris unveiled ahead of Paris Motor Show

Toyota has unveiled the new generation of its C Segment hatchback, the Auris ahead of the official debut at Paris Motor Show. Revealed in both European and Japanese form, the new Auris will be available from  1.33L to 1.8L in gasoline form and in 1.4L turbo-diesel form, depending either you are in its homeland Japan or in European countries. In tandem with Toyota going-hybrid model trend, the hybrid model is also available, which is the 1.8L petrol motor hooked to the electric motor.

The new Auris ditched the current model conservative styling in favor of crisper styling features. This include an angular and razor sharp headlight cutlines, prominent "beak" front grille flanked by single horizontal chrome bar that character-fully run into the headlight graphic. It is a very far departure from the current Auris, as well as differs greatly from the more mundane Corolla Axio sibling, which is essentially should be almost common underneath the skin. The front bumper assembly is more in tune with the Prius family, with the large single bumper main opening, accompanied by the tear-drop shaped outer duct, housing the fog lamp. Other than that, the front end design is fairly clean with well stretched surface that is in tune with the recently-facelifted Wish MPV.

The side profile is more conventional, completely free of complex surface interplay. There is a faint character line that runs from the headlight all the way into the rear light. The only surface break is the gentle lower sill line that kicks-up slightly and ends just before the rear wheel arch. The glass house is entirely conventional in silhouette with reverse-raked C-pillar.

While the side profile is comparatively mundane compared to the front end, Toyota has injected the excitement back into the design of the rear end. It is slightly reminiscent of the early 21st century Caldina model, with long horizontal rear light assembly that bulging out proudly from the main bodywork. The rear light itself is very 3D, covering all the surfaces available on the rear fascia plane.

Exterior wise, the new Toyota Auris measures 4,275mm long, 1,760mm wide and 1,460mm tall. Wheelbase is class-standard at 2,600mm. Compared to the outgoing Auris, the new model is 30mm longer and 55mm shorter. The adjusted dimension not only give it a sleeker look, it is also sleeker to the air with 0.28 coefficient of drag. Despite the carry-over wheelbase, and running on a modified outgoing platform, cleverer packaging has yield an extra 20mm rear knee room, 90mm more load space length, and the boot now 10L more voluminous at 360L.

The interior carry the same concept as the Corolla Axio, albeit with sportier and "Euro-look" with an entirely new design. Elemental similarity stops at the slab-like dashboard fascia with prominent upright panel (similar to the Axio and 86), and the wide single-bar aircond duct with is plainly related to the Toyota 86 design. It is very likely this is the in-trend design right now as far as Toyota C Segment is concern. The door trim also is sportier compared to its Corolla sibling with more stylish grab bar instead of pull cup integrated in door arm rest. The driver environment is made of the distinctive arch that starts from the floor console before making a complete half-circle at the top of meter binnacle. Speaking of the meter binnacle, opting for S Package will give you a different meter design, a dual circular meter with colored dispay in between. Normal binnacle is 3 circle setup with small monochrome display.
The Auris RS "S Package" interior of JDM car

Multiple color combination is available, especially for the Japanese Auris, with the RS "S Package" is an all-black affair with red seat fabric insert on the semi-bucket seat, "S Package" is also an all-black item while X and G model gets the choice of either black or beige seat and door trim. For the instrument panel slab fascia, the RS trim gets carbon motif, the S Package gets the option of black metal grey or leather upholstered while the "normal" X and G is accentuated by only black metal grey trim. European Auris will get an all-black setup but the with the blue lighting on the centre console instead of the old-school green illumination of the Japanese car.

The engine selection is entirely different for the different zone. European car will be powered from the launch by 3 engine choices, namely 1.33L and 1.6L petrol engine, while the sole diesel variant displaced 1.4L. The hybrid is powered with 1.8L gasoline with electric motor, and powered by nickel metal-hydride battery.

Japan option mirrors those on Toyota Corolla Fielder, with 1NZ-FE 1.5L with 108PS@6,000rpm and 136Nm@4,800rpm and 2ZR-FAE 1.8L mill kicking 143PS@6,200rpm and 173Nm@4,000rpm. Opting for RS liberates extra 1PS and 7Nm. Transmission option is CVT only for the 1.5L (with FF or AWD option), while the 1.8L is also available with 6 speed manual transmission. The 1.8L is a front-driver only.

So now we have seen two derivative of Corolla hitting the market, first with the Axio/Fielder and now the Auris hatchback. Both sits on the same platfrom, but comes with entirely different exterior clothes and interior design. The next-up should be the US Corolla, essentially similar to the Corolla Altis the Asian countries is getting. Rumors say that it will be sharp-looking as the US Avalon. If the Auris is anything to go by as far aesthetic design is concern, we could be getting an interesting looking Corolla Altis! 

Small gallery after the jump, including some real-life photo of Toyota Auris JDM.

The real-life photo of JDM Auris, attributed from Carview.

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