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Nihon Car & Bike is reporting that Toyota will announce an upscale version of the Auris in Japan called the Blade. The vehicle will reportedly have multiple trims, including one with a 280-hp V6 (!). The website happened to run across a parking lot full of Blades while test driving the Auris and snapped an album's worth of pics. From the pictures we can see the Blade has a different front end than the Auris that's sharper with a more traditional grille and aggressive lower front fascia. New wheels and clear taillights are also part of thep package. They report the Blades were being prepared to be shipped by sea, which means the car is destined for markets outside of Japan, though probably not the U.S. Score one for Nihon Car & Bike for the scoop, and we'll bring you more details of the Blade tomorrow after Toyota debuts the vehicle officially.

Follow the Read link to check out additional pics of the Blade, including a side-by-side comparison with a standard Auris.

[Source: Nihon Car & Bike]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Another death rattle-trap from Toyota, the not-so-green-as-they-appear-to-be company.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Why do manufacturers keep stretching the headlight lenses up the hood, and fenders? For God's sake, by the end of 2010, the headlights will reach from the front bumper to the windshield.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It looks like an evolution of the Scion xA. Assuming it will meet US crash standards and the interior bits are up to par, there's no reason they couldn't add it to the Scion line-up!

      Oh, and to #5. Are you nuts? Never a bold Toyota? The '67-'70 2000 GT was certainly a bold car. And, if you don't think the MkIV Supra (especially the twin turbo versions) were bold cars, then you are certifiable.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "27. that things not coming to the US. The steering wheel is on the wrong side..."

      I don't mean that batch of cars specifically, I mean some verion of this model, as the Scion xD. The xD is said to have a floor mounted shifter, so in addition to having LHD, it would have a different interior. Thick C pillar and Mazda like rear fit the descriptions of the xD.
      • 8 Years Ago
      that things not coming to the US. The steering wheel is on the wrong side. They should build us another supra.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "20. #17, #18: A big problem is the weak US$ (or the strong Euro)."

      Exchange rates are irrational and have no relation to the actual purchasing power of the curency, wether it is the US $, the Euro or the Chinese Yuan.

      I was in CHina last June, taught a course in Shanghai. One Yuan is 1/10 of a euro, but in actual purchasing power it is more like.. 1 to 0.5 euro.

      The Euro may be $1.30 or so, but the actual purchasing power of the $ in many areas is double that of the Euro! Europeans visit New York with two empty suitcases and fill them.

      " It just does not make sense to equip european Diesels with urea injection (+500-100$), then ship them to the states and sell them for 30% less than in Europe."

      The US market is very competitive price wise. This is a problem, esp. for Luxury Imports here. A friend bought a loaded BMW 530 in Europe for 75k Euros, or 90k US $, and here he could buy a big, loaded 750iL with that $.

      "I think with growing demand American and Japanes carmakers will start to build more Diesels in the US."

      Yes, even Honda will do so, decided already. IF gas prices remain above $2.50-$3 a gallon here, it will help. If they collapse, people will not shift to diesels.

      • 8 Years Ago
      The Supra TT is wildly popular now because of it's unlimited tuning potential. Toyota's other engines aren't designed like this. The XRS/Celica GTS engine has too high of a compression ratio to turbo-charge and the supercharger for the TC is a joke. I think Sport Compact Car ran a disappointing 14.7 quarter mile with theirs and it had the boost turned up! What Toyota should do is a build a retro AE86 style car that is REAR WHEEL DRIVE. That feature alone would attract the performance crowd.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #13: There is one cool RWD car in Toyota's lineup. The Avanza:


      Chop the top and supercharge the 1.6l and you have a great small racer. :-D
      • 8 Years Ago
      Jay: My XRS ('03 Cosmic Blue) just passed 90k last week. Two weeks prior it finally had it's first repair - a new clutch. Other than that, I've had absolutely zero trouble, and I drive it hard enough to require four new tires every year ;)

      I have yet to find another hatch that offers the space, utility, reliability and mileage of the XRS. There are other cars that beat it in some of these categories, but none that can beat all of them.

      When they killed it for the 2007 model year, it was just one more sad step towards Buickdom for Toyota. I do hope they release the Blade over here, or at least a 'hot' version of the Auris, but with their current direction I'm not holding my breath.
      • 8 Years Ago

      yeah, cause my boyfriend's 2002 chevy cavalier is totally not a "death rattle-trap".. my dad's '94 camry drives and looks better than it, sadly enough.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Why not the US again? Oh yeah, we only like bland stuff! I guess I am stuck with the Mazda or GTI.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #22: Exchange rates are relevant when goods are imported or exported. If more Diesel engines are made in the US, the impact on the price will not be so high as if they are imported.

      With the current small demand is does not make much sense to build small Diesels in the US. So they have to be imported which makes them expensive. And expensive Diesels do not trigger a higher demand.

      Maybe Honda or Dodge or Ford break the vicious cycle by producing the car diesels in the US...
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