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If you're a European who wasn't a fan of the Toyota Corolla, take heart knowing Toyota's best seller is technically gone and being replaced by this car, the Auris, which was unveiled as a concept not three weeks ago at the Paris Motor Show. Today Toyota has taken the wraps off of the production version of the Auris to give Euro folk a peek at what to expect from the company's new C-segment hatch. Initially available in both three- and five-door hatchback versions, the Auris can be had with one of no less than five engines, two gas and three diesel. The petrol powerplants include a 1.4 VVT-i (97 HP) and 1.6 Dual VVT-i (124 HP), while the oil burners are a 1.4 D-4D (90 HP), 2.4 D-4D (126 HP) and 2.2 D-4D Clean Power (177 HP). With the latter engine, the Auris can hit 62 mph in 8.1 seconds. Euros can swap cogs with the Auris's 6-speed manual transmission or a MultiMode automatic transmission with paddle shifters on select models.

So now Toyota has actually unveiled two new Corollas in the past month, the Auris for Europe and the Axio / Fielder wagon in Japan. Both are two very different cars, and we couldn't find agreement from our sources about which one will be sold in the U.S. From what we gather, the U.S. will get a version of the Axio sold in Japan, though it will wear styling similar to the Auris and, for that matter, the Yaris that's already on sale in the U.S.

More pics and Toyota of Europe's complete press release after the jump.

[Source: Toyota via Autoblog Spanish]


PHOTO GALLERY (click on any image to enlarge):


PRESS RELEASE:

The new Toyota Auris

• New core model in Toyota Motor Europe's sales growth strategy
• Meets changing needs of C-segment customers
• Distinctive design, offering superior quality and innovation
• 'Inside-out' approach for maximum interior space
• On sale in Europe, spring 2007

Today, Toyota reveals its plan for the new Toyota Auris – a new core model in the Toyota car
range and a significant step forward for its brand ambitions in Europe. Designed and built in
Europe, it will join the highly successful Toyota Yaris and Avensis in helping the company achieve
its newly announced target of 1.2 million annual sales by 2008.

Andrea Formica, Toyota Motor Europe Senior Vice-President Sales, Marketing & After-Sales said:
"The C-segment is the most important segment in the European car market and many European
brands are defined by the image and success of their C-segment models. With the launch of
Auris, we want to achieve a step-change not only in sales volume but also in terms of brand
image for Toyota."

Auris is Toyota's new challenger in the strategic C-segment family hatchback market. Its dynamic
design and striking features reflect the changing needs of C-segment customers while delivering
the core Toyota values of superior quality, innovation and driving pleasure.

Designed from the inside out, Auris maximises interior space and comfort while promising an
engaging drive through dynamic exterior styling.

Auris has been designed at Toyota's European styling centre, ED2, within the context of the
Toyota design philosophy of Vibrant Clarity – forward looking and energetic while retaining a
clarity of purpose and rationality.

It has been developed with European C-segment customers in mind and draws on many of the
design cues that were revealed with the Auris Space Concept in Paris including the 'inside-out'
direction which maximises interior space and comfort. The high waistline, short overhangs and
forward balance of the cabin architecture ensure it retains a sense of dynamism and agility.

The superior quality, innovative interior puts driver and passengers in harmony with the car. The
sculpted bridged centre console makes a bold design statement that symbolises and enhances
the sporty character of the vehicle. Yet, at the same time, it is elegant and practical, raising the
gearlever and other controls to the perfect ergonomic height.

Auris also presents a strong, dynamic exterior face and a promising dynamic behaviour. The wide
body and wide tread create a stable look, while concentrating on retaining the clarity of the
architecture has allowed the designers to create a crisp, fresh feel.

Soichiro Okudaira, Executive Chief Engineer, said: "Auris has been developed with a clear focus
on distinctive styling and an intelligent package. We have created a hatchback which will offer
engaging driving experience and the highest levels of superior quality."

Interior space is maximised through the inside-out approach, offering a flat rear passenger floor
and high window surfaces. Based on completely new platform, Auris has an overall length of
4220mm and a long wheelbase, 2600mm, resulting in excellent stability and ride comfort – along
with optimum passenger space. An overall height of 1515mm and width of 1760mm contribute to
the spacious interior and the stable, but sporty look.

The model range of Auris will cover the full extent of current and future C-segment hatchback
demand in Europe. Auris will be available in 3 and 5 doors hatchback body type with a choice of
two petrol engines, a 1.4 VVT-i and 1.6 Dual VVT-i, and three diesel engines, 1.4 D-4D, 2.0 D-4D
and 2.2 D-4D Clean Power. All engines meet Euro IV emissions standards.

The new 1.6-litre petrol engine will feature a dual VVT-i system, delivering a highly efficient
combustion process. The Dual variable valve timing (VVT-i) allows to simultaneously achieve
better fuel efficiency while increasing power.

The 2.0-litre D-4D 125 will be available with Toyota's advanced 'self-cleaning' diesel particulate
filter (DPF) while the 2.2 D-4D 180 Clean Power will feature the unique Toyota D-CAT technology
which reduces NOx and particulate emissions at the same time.

There will also be a wide choice of gearboxes for Auris with a six-speed manual transmission as
standard equipment on the 2.0 D-4D and 2.2 D-4D engines. A new MultiMode transmission with
paddle shift will be optional on 1.4 D-4D and 1.6 VVT-i engines.

Auris will be manufactured in Europe, emphasising Toyota's commitment to its localisation
strategy "of building cars close to where they are sold". All European production facilities operate
to the same high quality standards under the global label 'Made by Toyota'.

The new Toyota Auris will be revealed in Europe at the Bologna Motor Show on December 5,
2006 and will go on sale across Europe in spring 2007. Sales of Auris in Japan will start on
October 23, 2006.

Auris embodies the way forward for Toyota in Europe.