These are the first official images of the all-new 2013 Toyota Auris, a compact sized hatchback that will compete against the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, among other cars in the segment, and which will be sold in Europe and Japan as well other parts of the world including Australia where it will be marketed as the Corolla.
As Toyota's bestselling nameplate in Europe, the new Auris will make its world premiere at the upcoming Paris Motor Show at the end of September in both regular and hybrid trims.
The first thing Toyota tried to address with the new Auris is its predecessor's bland looks with a sharper and more distinctive styling that borrows the new “face” of the brand as seen on the Prius and the Yaris models. Whether or not it succeeded is something we'll let you decide and tell us in the comments section below.
According to the Japanese brand, the 2013 Auris has the distinction of sitting lower than any other mainstream C-segment model. It's also worth mentioning that its overall height is 55mm (2.2 inches) less than the outgoing model while it sports a lower front end design, both of which help it achieve a Cd0.28 drag coefficient.
The new Auris rides on a modified version of the previous model's platform keeping the same 2,600mm (102.4 inches) wheelbase and 1,760mm (69.3 inches) width, but is 30mm (1.2 inches) longer at 4,275mm (186 inches).
The interior of the compact has been completely redesigned with Toyota promising higher quality materials and a more detailed attention in the use of lighting, colours and finishes throughout.
Toyota says that smart packaging has improved the driving position and added 20mm to rear seat knee room and 90mm to the loadspace length, with all hatchback versions providing more luggage space at 360 liters, up from 350 liters.
The repositioning of the battery pack beneath the rear seat on the Auris Hybrid allows the latter to boast the same load capacity as the regular model.
Another highlight of the new model is the attention paid to weight management, with greater use of high tensile steel, particularly in the upper part of the body structure.
According to Toyota, this contributes to a 10 per cent increase in body stiffness and an overall vehicle weight saving of up to 40kg / 88 pounds, depending on the version.
The European model, which will be manufactured exclusively at Toyota's Burnaston factory in the UK, will be offered at launch with a 1.4-liter turbo diesel as well as 1.33 and 1.6-litre petrol engines.
In Hybrid trim, the new Auris will use a development of the current 1.8-litre petrol engine and electric motor setup with a nickel-metal hydride battery.
Toyota says that it expects each powertrain type – petrol, diesel or full hybrid –to represent around 1/3rd of Auris sales overall.
A BMW-sourced diesel is expected to join the range down the line.
In Japan, the new 2013 Auris will be available through "Netz" dealers with a 1.5-liter petrol engine and the choice of front- or all-wheel drive and a 1.8-liter petrol engine with front wheel drive and either a CVT-I or a six-speed manual gearbox.
Toyota said it will announce details on sales introduction, specifications and prices at a later date.