|New Auris. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) launched the completely redesigned Auris compact hatchback, a strategic compact model for both Japan and Europe. Specific improvements include a 55 mm height reduction for a lower center of gravity, improved driving performance tempered through extensive drive tests in Europe, and the addition of an enhanced “RS” sport grade. Monthly sales target for Japan is 2,000 units.
The Auris is powered by a choice of 1.5-liter and 1.8-liter gasoline engines. Front-wheel-drive 1.5-liter models feature a 1NZ-FE engine with a higher compression ratio to raise thermal efficiency and lower friction in various components for higher fuel efficiency. When combined with the high-efficiency Super CVT-i, the result is fuel efficiency of 18.2 km/L (42.8 mpg US, 5.5 L/100km) in the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s (MLIT’s) JC08 test cycle.
In addition, the optional Toyota Stop & Start idling-stop function available on 1.5-liter front-wheel drive models increases fuel efficiency further (19.2 km/L (45.2 mpg US, ) in the JC08 test cycle). All models achieve emissions levels 75% lower than the 2005 standards under the MLIT’s Approval System for Low-Emission Vehicles and are eligible for tax reductions under the Japanese government’s tax incentive program for environment-friendly vehicles. All models also qualify for incentives under the Japanese government’s Green Taxation System.
The 2ZR-FAE engine used on 1.8-liter models features improved Valvematic (a continuously variable valve-life and valve-timing mechanism) and Dual Variable Valve Timing-intelligent (Dual VVT-i) technologies, adjusted intake and exhaust valve timing, improved compression ratio, and lower friction to achieve high drive performance and fuel efficiency of 16.0 km/L (37.3 mpg US, 6.25 L/100 km) in the JC08 test cycle).
Power steering on 1.8-liter models features brushless motors and a modified gear ratio, improving steering response for more agile driving.
On 1.8-liter models, double wishbone rear suspension provides high levels of stability and cornering performance, giving the vehicle the ability to carve precise lines when cornering. In addition, vibration control provides comfortable cruising without unpleasant vibration or noise.
A new Sports Mode is available on 1.8-liter CVT models, featuring improved engine response, quick acceleration and deceleration, and enhanced response during re-acceleration.
G AI-Shift uses vehicle G-sensors to detect deceleration and turning force, enabling the AI to automatically downshift when entering a corner and to limit unnecessary up shifting when cornering.
All Auris models feature an omni-directional compatibility body structure that minimizes body deformation even in collisions with larger vehicles, and new features such as impact-absorbing hoods and bumpers that serve to minimize injuries afflicted on pedestrians in the event of a collision. The use of a new package and reinforced door openings increase body rigidity by 10% and create a lower center of gravity for high maneuverability and stability.