The new Toyota Auris
The new Auris will actually herald the return of the Corolla name to the UK; it will be available with a 2.0-litre hybrid but no diesel
The new Toyota Auris has been rebadged Corolla ahead of its introduction in spring 2019 – meaning a return of the Corolla name to the UK market after an absence of 13 years. The switch back to the Corolla name marks the end of the Auris worldwide.
A return to the Corolla name across the globe for the brand’s Ford Focus rival includes the Corolla Touring Sports estate, and marks the car’s switch over to the brand’s new Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. Both cars will go on sale simultaneously, given they’re both built at the brand’s Burnaston plant in Derbyshire. A Corolla saloon, built alongside the C-HR in Turkey, won’t come to the UK.
The Corolla was revealed at the Geneva motor show, with Auris badging suggesting the company made the decision about the car’s name between its Geneva reveal and today – and the car will be available with a choice of petrol hybrid engines, but no diesel options.
Speaking at the reveal of the latest version of the small car, Toyota’s European boss, Johan Van Zyl, said that the decision to axe a diesel version was due to customer demand, noting that 41% of Toyota’s European sales in 2017 were hybrid models.
As expected, the new Corolla will be offered with three powertrain choices. The only conventional option is a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol motor with 114 bhp. Two hybrid systems will be offered: the 1.8-litre, 121bhp motor currently used in the C-HR and Prius, and a new 2.0-litre version with 178bhp. The same powertrains will be offered across
Van Zyl said: “In Europe, Auris is the model which moved [hybrid] technology from niche to mainstream. It’s been a breakthrough car for Toyota, because most have been bought by people new to the model or the technology.”
Speaking about the decision to remove diesel engines from its passenger cars in Europe, Van Zyl added: “Customer demand is a clear sign that our petrol-electric hybrids are a strong and popular alternative.”
The new Corolla is built on the TNGA platform. Van Zyl said: “TNGA gives the car rigidity and a low centre of gravity. These are the qualities you need for outstanding comfort, handling and driving pleasure.” Styling, particularly at the rear, takes clear direction from the 2009 Lexus LF-Ch concept, which previewed the CT hatchback.
The Corolla is 4370mm long, 1790mm wide and 1435mm high, with a wheelbase of 2640mm. That makes it 40mm longer and 30mm wider than the Auris, although it is 25mm lower.
The redesigned front end features a grille that Toyota says is shaped like a catamaran hull, and also sports new LED headlights and daytime running lights. At the back, the rear windscreen is increased in rake, and a roof spoiler is standard on all trim levels.
The Corolla will be built at Toyota’s Burnaston factory in Derbyshire, which last year benefitted from £240 million investment to prepare the plant for the transition to the TNGA platform.