2007 Toyota Auris Production Version: Corolla's successor goes on sale in Japan

A couple of weeks after the debut of the Auris Concept at the Paris Show, Toyota announced the Japanese launch of the Auris production model. While its European release is scheduled for the spring of 2007, there's no word out yet for the US version.

Despite the dramatic changes that the name implies over its Corolla predecessor, I, as most people who saw the production ready Auris Concept at Paris, fail to see what the big fuss is all about. The Auris doesn't bring anything new to the C-Segment hatch category in terms of design, engineering or technology, so it sounds to me more of a marketing trick to convince younger people to take a look at the car.

As for Toyota's English press release, it doesn't reveal anything important except for the fact that the Japanese version which will be offered with two engines, the 1.5-liter VVT-i & the 1.8-liter Dual VVT-i (Dual Variable Valve Timing-intelligent). A quick tour at the Japanese site though reveals that the 1.5 produces 110 Hp / 6.000 rpm & 14.3 kgm / 4.400 rpm while the larger 1.8, 136 Hp / 6.000 rpm & 17,8 kgm / 4.400 rpm. The 1.8 can be equipped with the Super CVT-i (Super Continuously Variable Transmission-intelligent), a seven-speed Sports Sequential Shiftmatic transmission.

Like most cars in Japan, all Auris models will be offered in Japan either as 2WD or 4WD. For a more sporty look, Toyota has already released a couple of TRD kits as well as more sporty versions like the Modellista.

European version Range & Debut Date: In Europe, the 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. The new 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.

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