As Russia and America fought a mesmerising space race and Beatles fans excitedly awaited the next hit, Toyota was readying its own historic launch in 1966 – the new Corolla. Today it's the world’s most popular car with over 40 million sales. We look at how the model seamlessly transitioned to the Auris we know and love nearly 10 years ago.
The Toyota Auris made its public debut at the Bologna Motor Show on 5 December, 2006 and UK sales started in February 2007. It was to become the all-new core model for Toyota in Europe, designed and built in Europe, the Corolla was discontinued in certain Euorpean markets as the Auis was conceived to meet the changing needs of family hatchback customers.
In choosing a name for its new car, Toyota needed a word that would be easy to pronounce in all European languages and which would also be appropriate for the product. The result was Auris, a name that links naturally to Yaris and Avensis and which has its roots in aurum, the Latin word for gold, reflecting the model’s all-round high quality appeal.
“Creating a new name for the car was a priority,” said Andrea Formica, vice president of Sales & Marketing at Toyota Motor Europe. “In order to achieve the level of volume growth we are seeking in Europe, we needed to change people’s perceptions of our C-segment hatchback. We believe we have succeeded, people spontaneously reacted to the name with words such as ‘futuristic’, ‘high-class’ and ‘attractive’.”
The interior has always been distinguished by innovative design that works to harmonise driver and passenger with the car. On the outside, Auris has a strong, dynamic appearance that expresses its driving character. The wide body and track give a stable look and the sharply-defined architecture of the car creates a crisp, fresh feel.
The current model benefits from 'Keen Look' styling, which results in a narrow, sporty air intake at the front, sweeping back from the badge and merging into the headlamps. The LED daytime running lights are set low and wide to give road presence.
A sporty side profile emphasises its urgent attitude, while a third glazed panel behind the rear doors allows more light into the cabin. Overall, the new car is lower and 30mm longer than the previous model, enhancing the premium feel.
Toyota announced in 2011 that TMUK would be the sole European production centre for the second generation Auris, building both hatchback and Touring Sports estate versions of the car – including hybrids. The decision was backed by a £100 million investment in Burnaston.
Alongside Avensis, new Auris puts TMUK at the heart of Toyota’s product strategy for Europe and reaffirms Toyota’s commitment to manufacturing in Britain.
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