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Toyota's all new Auris hatchback

2007-08-14 10:27
Toyota Auris
The Auris represents a new approach to the design of Toyota's 'C' segment hatchback competitor with a significant departure from previous models in this class from the Japanese manufacturer.

For the first time Toyota has charged its progressive European design studio, ED2, with the design of its 'C' segment challenger, one of the most important and competitive segments both in Europe and in South Africa.

This new model boasts new levels of quality, styling, comfort and convenience, and driving dynamics. Typical of all modern Toyotas, the Auris benefits from exceptional interior space utility and comfort.

For this all-new model the designers adopted what they call an "inside-out" approach to maximise interior space and comfort as a priority before defining the exterior design of the vehicle. This allowed a far greater degree of freedom for the interior to be designed around the needs of the driver and passenger rather than be constrained by a pre-determined exterior design.

A fresh perspective

From first sight to the initial touch-and-feel experience the Auris delivers a fresh perspective. These first experiences of the Auris are carried through to the driving experience with superb driving dynamics. Throughout the package the influence of the ED2 team is evident in this vehicle tailored for the tastes of European buyers that are virtually inseparable from those of South African buyers.

The design team has achieved a fine balance between aesthetic styling, aerodynamic performance, and a rigid body structure to provide a quiet, stable, comfortable and efficient package. Excellent fuel economy and low noise are significant attributes aside from the overall dynamic performance.

Wind cheating aerodynamics

Smooth flowing surfaces with tight shut lines ensure a clean flow of air over the bodywork. Underneath the Auris the attention to aerodynamic performance is marked by a flat engine undercover and the efficient design of exposed suspension components, the fuel tank and rear floor section to smooth the flow of air under the vehicle.

The ride height has been set to optimise air-flow over and under the vehicle and the overall exterior packaging of the Auris is conducive to less air swirl from the roof. The front bumper acts as a splitter, smoothing the airflow around the car's sides and under the vehicle. The wide stance of the Auris and the use of front and rear wheel spats shields the wheels, particularly at high speed, enhancing straight line stability and steering response.

Measures to achieve the best possible aerodynamic performance include the flush mounted windscreen, the shaping of the louver at the back of the bonnet, and to the design of the windscreen wipers. The result is a wind cheating drag coefficient (Cd) of just 0,292.

A choice of nine models

The new Auris has been designed to appeal to the heart as well as the mind. It provides a high level of practicality together with comfort, driving pleasure, high quality finish and generous equipment levels.

This new 5-door hatch from Toyota is offered with a choice of four engines, each matched to a specific transmission specification for optimised efficiency, the option of diesel power - the first time for a Toyota in the volume passenger car market - and the option of Toyota's advanced M-MT transmission for those that prefer the convenience of an automatic shift transmission.

Three specification grades are offered with the 'RT' and 'RS' grades applicable to the 1,4l and 1,6l capacity derivatives and 'RS' and 'RX' offered together with 1,8l petrol and 2,0l diesel models. This provides a total of nine distinct models to choose from.

Air conditioning

All models are fitted with air-conditioning ? a manual system on the 'RT' and 'RS' grades and an automatic dual zone system on the 'RX' grade.

A newly developed ventilation and air-conditioning system is featured in the Auris that makes use of air diffusion to maintain the interior of the vehicle at the desired temperature rather. The system has been designed to work efficiently at low speeds where vehicle ventilation systems are often compromised and least effective.

The system itself is both compact and lightweight and benefits from the adoption of a variable compressor for optimum cooling capacity with reduced energy consumption.

Integrated audio system

The audio system is neatly integrated into the bridged centre console that defines the interior of the Auris. At the 'RT' grade the audio system comprises of a RDS Radio/CD combination with six speakers. On the 'RS' and 'RX' grades a RDS Radio/CD combination with 6-CD changer and MP3 compatibility is fitted.

Optitron instrumentation

All Auris models are equipped with Toyota's high-tech Optitron instrument system. The instrument panel is lit in amber with red pointers. Liquid crystal displays are used to show data such as fuel level and water temperature. On the one model fitted with MultiMode Manual transmission, the gear selection is also indicated.

A multi-function display is fitted to all derivatives and is featured in the main instrument display. Information available includes: Time (clock); outside temperature; average speed; average fuel consumption.

Cabin storage

A total of ten storage points are located around the interior of the Auris that together provide 32l of space for the stowage of oddments.

These include: A tray beneath the front passenger seat; a main glove box in the traditional lower dashboard location on the passenger side and second one with an internal shelf on the upper section of the dashboard on the passenger side; a drop-down holder for two pairs of sunglasses, pop-out cupholders integrated into the dashboard; generously proportioned door side pockets; centre console storage and a stowage space beneath the bridged console.

Driver?s smart entry and start

The Auris 1.8 RX and the Auris 2,0D-4D RX models are equipped with a 'Smart Entry and Start' system. This detects the presence of the vehicle 'key' within a range of about 1m from the vehicle and enables automatic unlocking of the driver's door and engine start up without inserting a key.

When the driver (carrying the key) touches the door handle a sensor automatically releases the door locks. Once inside, the vehicle can be started by simply pressing the starter button on the dashboard.

All other models are equipped with remote central locking. A security function re-locks the doors if the key is not inserted in the ignition lock within 30 seconds of the doors being unlocked.

The 'RT' grade Auris 1.4 and 1.6 models includes the following specification items:

  • 15" steel rims fitted with 195/65 R15 tyres (16" fitted with 205/55 R16 tyres on 1.6 RT)
  • Full size spare wheel
  • Colour coded bumpers and side mirrors and door handles
  • Electric remote side mirrors
  • Intermittent front wipers
  • Rear windscreen wash wipe with interval setting
  • Rear window demister
  • Manual air conditioner
  • Electric speed sensitive power steering
  • Tilt and telescopic adjustment for steering wheel
  • Electric windows at the front
  • Multi-information display
  • Optitron instrumentation
  • Seat belt warning light and buzzer
  • RDS Radio/CD combination with six speakers
  • Height adjustable front seat
  • Rear seats with tilt-down and 2-position reclining mechanism
  • Centre console with two cup holders
  • In-dash driver and passenger side cup holders
  • Seatback pockets on driver and front passenger seats
  • Underseat storage tray on passenger side
  • ABS brakes with EBD and BAS
  • Front airbags for driver and front passenger
  • Front seat side airbags
  • Front passenger airbag deactivate switch
  • 3-point seat belts for all seats. Front belts with pre-tensioner and force limiter
  • Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) concept seats for driver and front passenger.
  • ISOfix child restraint mounts
  • Transponder key immobiliser
  • Anti-theft alarm
  • Central locking

    The 'RS' grade available on Auris 1.4, 1.6, 1.8, and 2.0D-4D models adds the following to the above specification:

  • 16" alloy rims fitted with 205/55 R16 tyres (full size steel spare wheel)
  • Front fog lamps
  • Leather covered gear-shift knob and steering wheel
  • Steering wheel mounted satellite audio controls
  • Electric windows front and rear
  • RDS Radio/CD combination with in-dash 6-CD changer and MP3 compatibility
  • Centre console with lid
  • Knee airbag
  • Curtain shield airbags front and rear
  • The top-of-the-range 'RX' grade is available on the Auris 1.8 and 2.0D-4D derivatives and adds the following specification items:

  • Automatic dual-zone air conditioning.
  • Cruise control.
  • Smart entry key system and push button start.
  • Rain sensing windscreen wipers.
  • Auto light on/off system.
  • Rear seat centre arm-rest with two cup holders.
  • Leather seat trim.

    The full Auris range is:

    Auris 1.4 RT
    Auris 1.4 RS
    Auris 1.6 RT
    Auris 1.6 RS
    Auris 1.6 RS M-MT Auris 1.8 RS
    Auris 1.8 RX
    Auris 2.0D-4D RS
    Auris 2.0D-4D RX

    Service intervals are 15 000 A 5yr/90 000km service plan is included in the price.


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