It appears that Toyota is hard at work on developing the next-generation Auris hatchback. One of our spy photographers snapped some pictures of the new economy car tackling some tight twisties. In case you were wondering why you should care about a Toyota you've never heard of, the reason is that you've heard of its American-badged cousin the Corolla iM, which shares the current Auris's platform and most of its styling. The regular Corolla sedan is unique to the U.S. market.
Based on these spy photos, the new Auris/Corolla iM is certainly an evolution of the current design. It has a wedge-y nose and profile, as well as crisp, acute angles throughout the body. Some of those cues have been exaggerated, though. The headlights in particular have been stretched nearly to the middle of the car. Odds are there won't be much if any kind of grille between the lamps. Instead, there will probably be a sizable grille in the lower bumper to handle all of the cooling duties. That grille also has a unique pattern to it.
Moving around to the side, the greenhouse has changed significantly. The triangle motif in the D-pillar is completely gone. The beltline also now kicks up toward the back instead of staying perfectly horizontal. the rear hatch has a steeper forward rake, too, which helps make the car look lower. We can't tell as many features of the hatch itself, but the taillights seem to have a little boomerang-esque hook on the far ends.
Now although we do get the Auris in the U.S. as the Corolla iM, there's no guarantee it will return for a second generation. There hasn't been much news around the hatchback since it changed names from Scion to Toyota. We reached out to Toyota to find out whether the Corolla iM has a future in America, and the company had no comment on the car.