Geneva Motor Show: Toyota Auris

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The new-generation Auris - debuted at Geneva - will be offered only with petrol and HEV powertrains; as with the C-HR in 2016, there will be no diesel version.

Volkswagen pledged a year ago to spend more than €34bn through 2022 to develop battery-powered and autonomous-driving technology, and it has plans to create electric versions of all 300 cars, trucks and buses sold by its dozen brands by the end of the next decade. It marks a revolution in the way the company designs, engineers and manufactures vehicles, and is integral to the companys mission to build ever better cars that are more stylish, more enjoyable to drive and even safer. The adoption of the new architecture gives the new Auris a lower center of gravity along with a more rigid body shell and a multi-link rear suspension, with Toyota claiming that the driving experience will now be more rewarding than before.

That means the designers of the new Auris are in line for a commendation.

Mueller said if the USA has chose to change its earlier commitment to globalization then "we should sit at the table with the Americans, look at the situation, and try to understand why the past strategy was wrong, and what a future common strategy could be".

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Riding on wheelbase 40mm longer than the outgoing model, the new model promises improved high speed stability and passenger leg room, though a roofline positioned 25mm lower than before may not be welcomed by taller folks. Importantly, the overall height of the new hatchback has been reduced by some 25 mm, whilst the cowl height of the vehicle is a significant 47 mm lower than that of the current model.

Toyota's desire for more dynamic styling is bolstered by a narrower grille and full-LED headlights.

Over at VW Group, the firm that triggered the current backlash against diesel after admitting to cheating on USA emissions tests, chief executive Matthias Mueller said: "I'm firmly convinced that diesel will experience a revival". The changes at the back are subtler, with new rear LED lights. A roof spoiler is fitted, as standard, on all model grades.

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