The all-new Toyota Auris is a key model on the international motoring landscape and is expected to make a significant impact on the South African market too.
The hatchback version of the new Corolla does not look radically different from the RunX model it replaces, adopting the current family face.
Short overhangs and a high waistline are evident, and the Auris is slightly larger than the outgoing RunX.
First shown as the Auris Space Concept at the Paris Motor Show late last year, local sales of the production version are expected to kick off in South Africa by September. We speculate pricing to start from around the R150 000-mark.
Local information is yet to be confirmed, though buyers are likely to get the five-door bodystyle (a three-door version is available in certain markets) with a choice of petrol and turbodiesel engines.
New petrol powerplants have aluminium engine blocks and cylinder heads. The 1.4- and 1.6-litre engines employ Toyota's VVT-i technology and have outputs ranging from 72 kW and 130 Nm for the 1.4 to 92 kW and 157 Nm for the 1.6 unit. A 1.8-litre unit could also form part of the local line-up.
A 2.0-litre turbodiesel unit producing 126 kW and 300 Nm between 2 000 and 2 800 r/min is also likely to be included in the local Corolla/Auris range for the first time.
The newcomer will probably come equipped with a five-speed manual gearbox for the petrol units, and a six-speed manual in the turbodiesel.
The Auris has received a five-star Euro NCAP rating. Safety features include up to nine airbags, ABS, EBD, VDC and brake assist.