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New brand face with more standard equipment, from December 2012
New Toyota Auris compact hatchback at the Paris Mondial
With more version options including the full hybrid technology

New Toyota Auris compact hatchback: front-side.

New Auris: longer than the Auris I, with the same wheelbase.

26 Sep. 2012, Tony Kanaan: When it comes to compact vehicles, some names spring to mind before others. Of course the VW Golf may be the first for many, with over 29 million units sold worldwide since 1974.

Yet, there is also another figure with 39 million units sold since 1966, when the first generation Toyota Corolla was launched.

For statistics lovers, the VW Golf gets an annual average of  763.16 thousand units over 38 years. Corolla made an annual average of 847.83 thousand units over 46 years. Many brands would be happy with either of these two figures for their whole model range in a year, not just for one single model.

It is this Corolla, called Auris in Europe since 2007, which is coming to the 2012 Paris motor show (public days from 29 September to 14 October) in a new generation for 2013 (from December 2012), with a longer body, a larger luggage compartment, new or upgraded standard and optional equipment, such as the Stop & Start, the MultiDrive and MultiMode transmissions, the Toyota Touch / Touch & Go / Touch & Go Plus multimedia versions, the Simple Intelligent Park Assist system (SIPA), the Skyview panoramic roof, up to the enhanced steering and suspension characteristics.
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Just like the previous Auris generation was available with a hybrid version since 2010, the new Auris will have its hybrid version, beside the petrol (gasoline) and diesel ones of course.

Auris is built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) alongside the Avensis (midsize). TMUK celebrated this year its 20th anniversary with 3,265,000 vehicles produced (including 418,000 Auris) since the start of operations in 1992.


Compared to the previous generation, the new five-door Auris compact hatchback (C-segment, lower medium category) keeps the same wheelbase dimension of 2,600 mm (102.36 inches), while its overall length grows by 30 mm (1.18 in.), to 4,275 mm (168.3 in.).

The difference goes evidently to the overhangs, with an additional 15 mm (0.6 in.) for each, to become 920 mm (63.2 in.) at the front and 755 mm (29.7 in.) at the rear, keeping the Auris between the most compact car of its segment in its external dimensions. But then again, that's one factor, which might be preferred by some for city manoeuvrability.

Toyota says that the overall height is lowered by 55 mm (2.16 in.), from 1510 mm (59.45 in.), with 45 mm (1.77 in.) reduction in the cabin (the seat height has been reduced by 40 mm / 1.57 in.) and the other 10 mm (0.39 in.) in the ride height, enhancing aerodynamics, fuel efficiency and driving dynamics (lower centre of gravity), especially that the "extensive use of high tensile steel in the bodyshell construction has helped to reduce the overall weight of the new Auris by up to 40 kg (88.18 lb).

The underfloor features a front spoiler, a lower absorber, an engine undercover, front spats, centre floor undercovers, tank side floor undercovers, a rear floor undercover and rear spats to maximise aerodynamic efficiency, in addition to the positioning of wing-shaped vertical wings to the centre and rear floor undercovers, further smoothing the air flow under the vehicle.  

As a result, the new Auris’ coefficient of drag has been reduced from Cd 0.292 to Cd 0.28.  

The Japanese brand adds that with the ride height reduction, the gap between the wheel arches and tyres is narrowed, allowing a closer alignment of the wheels with the bodywork. The wheel choices include a new 15” and 16” wheel cap design and 16” and 17” alloys.


New Toyota Auris compact hatchback: rear-side.

Boot volume grew from 279 l. (9.85 cu-ft) to 360 l. (12.7 cu-ft).

Outside, the front brings a new design for the grille (Toyota calls it "Under Priority" design), the headlamps (standard halogen or optional Bi-HID, High Intensity Discharge) with standard LED Daytime Running Light (DRL), a larger Toyota badge and a central, chrome-plated horizontal trim bar which is extended into the narrower headlamp clusters.

The lower grille combines integral fog lamp housings with chrome surround detailing and a piano black finish with a floating, lower chrome accent to the lip spoiler.

The profile shows a steeply raked windscreen flowing into the lower roofline, a lengthening of the side glazing with the door mirrors repositioned within the glazed area. The blacked-out pillars include a piano black finish to the B pillar between the doors on each side.

At the rear, the tailgate opening is wider, with an integral roof spoiler and a new wraparound rear combination lamp design. The bumper has a vertical reflector integrated at each end.


At the front, the new seat design has longer travel and greater height adjustment. Standard on Style (Sport) version, a newly developed sports seat offers more lateral support.

To increase rear seat knee room by 20 mm (0.78 in.), the front seats get a new back design. Also, the rear door opening width has been enlarged, while the load space length has been increased by 50 mm (1.97 in.) and the tailgate opening width increased by 90 mm (3.54 in.). 

Live (Entry) and Active (Mid) versions have fabric seats are finished. The Style seats add red panels. The Lounge (High) version has its seats finished in black velour with genuine leather seat bolsters. Black, full leather upholstery is available as an option on Lounge models, with an Ice Grey leather option exclusive to Hybrid models.

The new instrument binnacle features a simple two or three dial design with white needles and numerals. All switchgear uses the same font, and both instrument binnacle and centre console are backlit in clear blue.

The meter surrounds, centre stack, transmission tunnel trim, air conditioning and audio controls as well as the door handles are finished in a matching satin silver finish, while the air vents, audio panel, transmission tunnel, steering wheel and gear lever are trimmed with a silver paint finish. On higher versions, the dashboard is finished in leather.

On board, the Auris Hybrid has an exclusive meter and Eco Drive Support monitor design within the instrument binnacle, a hybrid blue shift-by-wire gear lever and hybrid-exclusive instrument panel ornamentation.

New Toyota Auris compact hatchback: dashboard.

New instrument binnacle with a simple 2 or 3 dial design.

Toyota cites between the functional features a sunglasses holder, coat hooks, four cup and four bottle holders, a sliding centre console armrest with document holder, dashboard and rear centre console storage space for small items, three 12-Volt accessory sockets and an AUX external input plug, a removable package tray, deck hooks and a dual level load space deck board.


With the dual-level load space deck board and 60:40 split-folding rear seats, all versions, including the hybrid (fitting the battery pack under the rear seat), provide a luggage capacity (with the rear seat back up) of 360 litres (12.7 cu-ft), compared to the previous 279 litres (9.85 cu-ft).


The new Auris’ powertrain line-up now features an improved full hybrid version, in addition to two petrol and two diesel engines.

Toyota expects the pan-European sales mix to be spread at launch nearly equally with a third for the full hybrid, another third for the diesel and the remaining for the petrol.

The petrol choices start from the 1.33 litre engine, with Dual Variable Valve Timing-intelligent (VVT-i) and Stop & Start technology. It generates 73 kW / 99 DIN hp / 98 bhp (all fuel consumption and emissions figures are only indicative, subject to final homologation) and maximum torque of 128 Nm (94 lb-ft) at 3,800 rpm.

Toyota's combined fuel consumption figure is 5.4 l/100 km (equivalent to 52.28 UK mpg, 43.56 US mpg, 18.52 km/litre, conversions being based on figures) with CO2 emissions of 125 g/km.

The larger petrol choice for the Auris is the 1.6l Valvematic engine, which is a further development of Toyota’s Dual Variable Valve Timing-intelligent (Dual VVT-i) system.

While the Dual VVT-i varies the air-fuel intake and exhaust valve timing to suit the driving conditions, Valvematic adds lift and duration control to the inlet valve variable timing.

Available with either a six-speed manual or MultiDrive S automatic transmission, the 1.6-litre Valvematic engine develops 97 kW / 132 DIN hp / 130 bhp and a maximum torque of 160 Nm (118 lb-ft) at 4,400 rpm.

New Toyota Auris compact hatchback: profile.

A steeply raked windscreen flowing into the lower roofline.

With the manual transmission, the combined cycle fuel consumption is 5.9 l/100 km (47.85 UK mpg, 39.9 US mpg, 16.95 km/litre) and generates CO2 emissions of 138 g/km. the MultiDrive S transmission further reduces both fuel consumption and emissions, to 5.7 l/100 km (49.5 UK mpg, 41.3 US mpg, 17.54 km/litre) and 134 g/km respectively.


The 1.4 litre D-4D diesel engine is available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed MultiMode transmission. It develops 66 kW / 90 DIN hp / 88 bhp and maximum torque of 205 Nm (151 lb-ft) between 1,800 and 2,800 rpm.

With the manual transmission and Stop & Start system, the 1.4 D-4D 90 unit returns a combined cycle fuel consumption of 3.8 l/100 km (74.3 UK mpg, 61.9 US mpg, 26.32 km/litre) and generates CO2 emissions of 99 g/km.  

The larger 2.0l D-4D diesel engine generates a maximal output of 91 kW / 124 DIN hp, 122 bhp. It comes with a new turbocharger and a standard six-speed manual transmission as well as the Stop & Start system.

New Toyota Auris compact hatchback: rear.

The tailgate opening is wider, with an integral roof spoiler.

New torque figures were not communicated at the time of writing, but the figures of the 2.0l D-4D 125 diesel engine was in the 1st generation 310 Nm between 1800 and 2400 rpm (maximum output was 93 kW / 126 DIN hp / 125 bhp).


Launched two years ago, the first Auris Hybrid found some 60,000 buyers, making it the 2nd most popular full hybrid in Europe, after the Prius.

The new Auris Hybrid gets also powertrain improvements. The control logic of the Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) system planetary gear transmission has been modified to give a smoother acceleration, with a closer relationship between vehicle speed and engine revs.

The HSD system’s 1.8 litre VVT-i petrol engine and 60 kW (81.6 DIN hp, 80.4 bhp) electric motor can operate independently or in combination. When operating in the switchable EV mode (usually in city driving), the Auris Hybrid’s powertrain can do without the petrol engine, as an electric car.

The petrol/electric combination provides a maximum power output of 136 DIN hp (100 kW, 134 bhp), with a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 10.9 seconds and a maximum speed of 180 km/h (112 mph). The CO2 emissions is below 89 g/km (with 15” wheels).

The hybrid Auris gets unique exterior and interior details, such as the lower grille and lower rear bumper diffuser finished in a graphite gloss paint colour, special bonnet and tailgate logos, hybrid logos on the front wings and a hybrid mark on the tailgate. The rear combination lamps have specific LED lights. Both 15” silver and 17” graphite alloy wheels are of a new ‘turbine’ design unique to the Auris Hybrid.


In addition to the standard six-speed manual gearbox, an optional MultiMode transmission is available on the 1.4 D-4D 90 diesel version. It is an automated manual transmission with a fully automatic shift mode and no clutch pedal. It offers a choice of a fully automatic gear change modes or a manual, sequential gear change with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles. Selecting E (Economy), M (Manual) or R (Reverse) allows the car to ‘creep’ like a conventional automatic. In E mode, the car makes automatic gear shifts, while selecting ES (Sport) mode delays changing up to a higher rpm, giving a more sporty style of drive.


New Toyota Auris Hybrid compact hatchback: driving position.

The Auris Hybrid gets an exclusive meter and Eco Drive Support monitor design within the instrument binnacle, a hybrid blue shift-by-wire gear lever and hybrid-exclusive instrument panel ornamentation.

Another optional transmission is the MultiDrive S CVT (continuously-variable transmission), which is available on the 1.6 Valvematic petrol version of the new Auris, MultiDrive S works like a fully automatic shift mode or as a sequential, stepped 7-speed Sport mode, with close ratio upshifts and direct downshift feeling.

When detecting deceleration in the Sport mode, the system downshifts and applies engine braking to assist the braking force. When lateral G-force is detected (while driving in bends usually), the system suspends gear shifting to prevent any destabilization. On corner exit, the system adopts the optimal gear ratio for re-acceleration.

 Stop & Start

The Stop & Start system is fitted as standard on the 2.0 litre D-4D diesel engine and optional with the 1.33 litre Dual VVT-i petrol engine and the 1.4 litre D-4D diesel engine.

The system automatically stops the engine when the shift lever is moved to the neutral position and the clutch pedal is released. As soon as the clutch pedal is depressed, the engine automatically restarts within less than half a second. An ‘ECO’ indicator illuminates during every automatic stop.

However,  if the air-conditioning in use, the engine will not stop if the desired cabin temperature has not been reached. When that temperature is reached, the air-conditioner will switch to ‘ECO-run loading’, allowing the engine to automatically stop.

The engine automatically restarts in the event of low battery charge, or if the vehicle begins to move. Toyota says that the Stop & Start system helps reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption by up to 3% in urban driving.


The new Auris will be available in four equipment levels: Live (base), Active (Mid., expected to represent around two thirds of Auris sales), Style (Sport) and Lounge (High).

New Toyota Auris Hybrid compact hatchback: front-side.

Hybrid Auris: a lower grille and new ‘turbine’ design alloys.

In safety terms, the new Auris will be equipped (standard and optional equipment lists always need to be checked as they may differ between markets, versions and even seasonal offers) with ABS, EBD (electronic brake-force distribution), Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), an emergency brake signal function and, with the MultiDrive CVT transmission, a cruise control with an adjustable speed limiter.

In the UK market, where the new Auris goes on sale in December with on-the-road prices ranging from £14,495 to £21,745, all versions will be equipped as standard with seven airbags, a new follow-me-home lighting system, Hill-Start Assist Control, Vehicle Stability Control and LED daytime running lights.

The Active grade adds a height adjustable front passenger seat, a rear centre armrest and the Toyota Touch, a 6.1 inch, full colour, touch-screen interface which combines AM/FM radio with an optional DAB+ receiver, a CD/MP3 player, Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity with a music streaming facility, an AUX jack and a USB port for the connection of portable music players, with the facility to display iPod album cover. Both the hybrid drive system Energy Monitor and fuel consumption information can be displayed, and a rear view camera is fitted as standard.

Above the Toyota Touch, an upgraded Toyota Touch & Go system provides a full map navigation system, a connectivity booster, and access to online content and apps, including a new Twitter App. It includes popular navigation functions, such as an advanced traffic function with premium information in ten European countries, junction view images at intersections, tunnel view images, an automatic zoom function and improved speed limit warnings.

Toyota Touch & Go also offers, as standard, on-board access to Google Local Search, Yandex and other search engines, using a compatible mobile phone, via Bluetooth. The installation of Touch & Go also upgrades the multimedia base unit with the addition of an SMS on-screen send and receive function incorporating the contact person image display from the compatible Bluetooth smartphone. Several Apps are available to download, including fuel prices, weather and parking space information.

New Toyota Auris Hybrid compact hatchback: rear-side.

Hybrid Auris: rear combination lamps get specific LED lights.

Another step higher comes the Touch & Go Plus which adds on the Lounge version voice recognition for navigation address input, one-shot destination entry, music search & play and phone contact search & call. When synchronised with a compatible Bluetooth mobile phone, the system can send / receive emails and display the user's calendar. It also has a text-to-speech message readout facility for SMS, e-mails and traffic messages.

The satellite navigation mapping includes 3D modelling of major cities and landmarks, where the database is available, with three years free map and software upgrades.

Other available options include Bi-HID headlamps, an Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS), Automatic High Beam (AHB), automatic climate control, Smart Entry and Push Start, a Skyview panoramic sunroof (2,340 by 1,280mm / 92.12 by 50.4 in.), the 9-speaker JBL Premium Sound System and, standard on Lounge grade models, Simple Intelligent Park Assist (SIPA) with a rear camera and ultrasonic sensors on the front side-bumper to identify viable reverse and parallel parking spaces.


New Toyota Auris Hybrid compact hatchback: skyview option.

Skyview panoramic sunroof (2,340x1,280mm / 92.12x50.4 in.).

The Simple Intelligent Park Assist system automatically applies the correct sequence of steering angles when parking into the target space (the driver controls the accelerator and brake pedals).

The system can cope with non-standard parking situations, such as on bends, and takes account of objects on the opposite side of the road that might affect parking manoeuvres, like other parked cars or obstacles in narrow streets.

A park-me-out function helps the driver exit a tight parking space by judging the clearance from the vehicle in front and providing the necessary steering inputs.


Toyota says that the Electric Power Steering (EPS) has been improved with the new Auris to bring more directness, better feedback and quicker turn for agility. The steering column gets a more rigid attachment to enhance linear steering feel. A new EPS control suppresses changes in steering force for improved linearity, with a high gear ratio to provide greater steering response.


To increased body rigidity, the new Toyota Auris has new bracing and reinforcements to the underbody, front and rear structures, and front suspension.

The reduced centre of gravity – thanks to the already mentioned lower vehicle height – also allows for a reduction in spring rates and anti-roll bar diameter, which improves ride comfort, body control and steering response.

The front MacPherson strut suspension have been revised and the spring rate has been reduced with re-tuned shock absorbers. The 1.33 litre petrol and 1.4 litre diesel engine models feature torsion beam rear suspension, whilst the 1.6 litre petrol, 2.0 litre diesel and full hybrid models are fitted with a double wishbone system to the rear.

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