Monday, February 7, 2011

Toyota Announces Auris Hybrid for European Market, Sales to Start in Mid-2010

Toyota has confirmed plans to launch a full-hybrid version of its Golf-sized Auris hatchback for the European market in mid-2010. According to the Japanese firm, the Auris Hybrid will be built at its UK-based facility in Burnaston, Derbyshire. The company did not release any technical information but chances are that the Auris will make use of a similar, if not the same, hybrid drivetrain system to the new Prius that combines a 1.8-liter gasoline engine with two electric motors.

"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," said Tadashi Arashima, CEO and President of Toyota Europe. "Such efforts are crucial if we are to see more low-carbon vehicles on European roads," he added.

In other words, it's safe to assume that the Auris Hybrid will be priced much lower than the Prius, giving Honda's newly introduced Insight Hybrid a run for its money.

The Auris is Toyota's proposal in the all-important for the European market C-segment rivaling the likes of the Volkswagen Golf, Renault Megane, Ford Focus and Opel Astra. It was launched into the European market in the Spring of 2007 replacing the three- and five-door hatchback variants of the Corolla. Since then, it has sold over 370,000 units across the continent.

The Auris is offered with various powertrains in Europe including the newly introduced 101HP 1.33-liter gasoline engine that returns 5.8lt/100km or 40.6mpg US in the European cycle and a range-topping 2.2-liter turbo diesel with 175HP for the sporty Auris SR180 (pictured here) that returns an average of 6.0lt/100km or 39.2mpg.

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