click above for high resolution gallery of the Toyota Auris SR180

The bucket of parts that makes up the Toyota Corolla also gives life to several other vehicles worldwide. In the UK and other parts of the world, they get the Auris, a three- or five-door hatch-type-thing. While Toyotas in the United States are sleepy affairs, the Auris is ringing in 2008 with a sporty, well-equipped SR180 version. Looking great with a lowered suspension from Toyota Motorsport and blacked out rear glass, the Auris appears intimately involved with the pavement. There's a subtle spoiler atop the hatch, which always gives a nice finish to the back end of this style car, and the wheel arches are nicely filled with 17-inch alloy rims. Underhood, Toyota's D-4D Diesel provides 175 horsepower and a whopping 294 ft-lbs of torque through a six-speed manual while returning 38 mpg (US) on a combined cycle.

Equipment levels are up, providing the driver with such goodies as dual-zone climate control, automatic headlamps and wipers, and cruise control. Stability and traction-control systems are standard, too. It all sounds and looks very good until you run the roughly £18,500 price through a currency conversion – coming out the other side at about $37,000 greenbacks. Some people would sell a kidney on eBay for the opportunity to get something like this Stateside, and it certainly is a rare Toyota that makes us say "That's cool." If you're someplace where you can take advantage of it, order yours now for January delivery.

[Source: Toyota]

Related GalleryToyota Auris SR180


PRESS RELEASE:

AURIS ADVANCES WITH NEW SPORTING FLAGSHIP
New Year debut for SR180

KEY POINTS

  • New sports-focused Toyota Auris SR180 flagship model
  • Toyota Motorsport lowered suspension and rear spoiler
  • Dark-tinted rear privacy glass
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • 175bhp 2.2 D-4D engine gives nought to 62mph acceleration in 8.1 seconds
  • On sale on 1 January 2008
  • Prices £17,995 (three-door) and £18,495 (five-door)
  • A new flagship Toyota Auris hits the streets early next year, giving the range a new sporting edge. The SR180 does not stint on eye-appeal, with Toyota Motorsport lowered suspension springs giving it a ground-hugging stance and a neat new rear spoiler positioned atop the tailgate. Dark-tinted rear privacy glass and five-spoke 17-inch alloys add further to the style factor, while the choice of body colours includes an über-cool Pure White.

The SR180 is far from being all-show-and-no-do. The 2.2-litre D-4D engine generates 175bhp and a maximum 400Nm of torque from 2,000rpm, giving responsive and rewarding driving performance through the six-speed manual transmission. Benchmark acceleration from nought to 62mph is 8.1 seconds, while the D-4D engine's strong fuel efficiency returns an official 45.6mpg in combined cycle driving.

Further driving rewards are delivered by the dedicated, lightweight double wishbone rear suspension, tailored specifically to meet the demands of the model's higher performance characteristics. Vehicle stability control (VSC) with traction control (TRC) are provided as standard.

In keeping with its flagship status, the SR180 has a high equipment specification with automatic dual-zone air conditioning, dusk-sensing headlamps, rain-sensing wipers and cruise control all part of the standard package.

The new model is available to order now (for delivery in January), with both three and five-door versions available, priced respectively £17,995 and £18,495 on the road.