Toyota Auris Optimal Drive - Click above for high-res image gallery
Reports that Toyota might build the hybrid Auris in the United Kingdom have been confirmed. Toyota will build the full hybrid at its Burnaston, Derbyshire plant starting in the middle of next year (this is earlier than expected). The Auris will be Toyota's first full hybrid built in Europe, with engines coming from a Toyota plant in Deeside, North Wales.
The Auris is a C-segment hatchback that shares components in the understructure and suspension with the Lexus HS250h. Toyota didn't announce which hybrid powertrain would be used in the Auris, but the current Optimal Drive version uses a 1.33-litre dual VVT-i engine that, with Toyota's Start&Stop technology, emits 135 grams of CO2 per kilometer and burns fuel at a rate of 40.5 mpg (U.S.) on the European combined cycle. As we wrote earlier, we expect the hybrid Auris to use a variant of the new 1.8-liter engine and Hybrid Synergy Drive that is also found in the new Prius.
Toyota to Manufacture Full Hybrid Auris in the United Kingdom
Toyota Motor Europe (TME) today announced plans to manufacture a full hybrid version of its C-segment hatchback, Auris, at its UK-based facility in Burnaston, Derbyshire. Production of Toyota's first European-built full hybrid will kick-off at Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd (TMUK) in mid-2010. Engines will be produced at TMUK's facility in Deeside, North Wales. The announcement, which coincided with a site visit by UK First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills Rt. Hon. Lord Mandelson, underlines Toyota's commitment to expand its offering of low-emission hybrid vehicles to customers in Europe.
'With today's announcement, Toyota has taken a significant step forward in ensuring that full hybrids become more accessible to a wider range of customers. Such efforts are crucial if we are to see more low-carbon vehicles on European roads,' said Tadashi Arashima, CEO and President, TME.
'Our decision to produce a full hybrid in the UK reflects both our confidence in the quality and commitment of the TMUK workforce and the strength of our long-standing partnership with the UK Government. Today's announcement is positive for Toyota, our UK suppliers and the local communities here,' he added.
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said: 'This is a welcome and forward-looking investment in Britain from a world class manufacturer. As part of our low carbon industrial strategy we set out to make Britain the best place in the world to develop low carbon vehicles. These commitments, backed by the formidable skills of the UK automotive workers enable companies like Toyota to invest with confidence in low carbon car production in the UK. It demonstrates that the UK's car industry is already making the low carbon transition.'
The Toyota Auris hit the European market place in spring 2007. Since then, it has sold over 370,000 vehicles. Under the new Toyota Optimal Drive technology, Auris now comes equipped with a 1.33-litre dual VVT-i engine and Toyota's Start&Stop technology, reducing CO2 emissions by 17% (135 g/km) and improving fuel consumption by 19% (48.7 mpg combined cycle).*
TMUK started production in 1992 as Toyota's first manufacturing company in Europe and today employs around 4,100 workers. The plant has produced over 2.5 million vehicles to-date, including the Carina E, Corolla, Avensis and Auris, for sale in Europe and export overseas. TMUK represents a total investment of over £1.85 billion and is one of nine Toyota manufacturing companies in Greater Europe
Notes to the editors:
*compared to the previous 1.4-litre VVT-i unit.
Toyota Motor Europe NV/SA (TME) oversees the wholesale sales and marketing of Toyota and Lexus vehicles, parts and accessories, and Toyota's European manufacturing and engineering operations. Toyota directly and indirectly employs around 80,000 people in Europe and has invested over €7 billion since 1990. Toyota's operations in Europe are supported by a network of 31 National Marketing and Sales Companies across 56 countries, a total of around 3,000 sales outlets, and nine manufacturing plants. In 2008, Toyota sold over 1.1 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles in Europe. For more information, visit www.toyota.eu.