Toyota, in keeping with its recently unveiled plans to debut 21 new hybrid models across its global fleet by the end of 2015, wasted no time in kicking this off with an introduction at the ongoing Paris Motor Show of the Auris Touring Sports. It is not the first hybrid variant we’ve seen in this workhorse of Toyota’s consumer vehicles, with an earlier generation Auris getting the eco car treatment back in 2010.
The Auris Touring Sports, according to Toyota, is the first wagon style vehicle available in the mainstream C-segment (i.e. compact) with a full hybrid powertrain. It is said wagon variants represent up to a quarter of sales in this segment, so that Toyota is testing the waters here with a hybrid offering keeps in line with its planned strategy.
Toyota notes the Auris Touring Sports variant is 285 mm longer than its hatchback sibling, with the advantage of increased luggage capacity. It has an overall reduction in model height as well as a lower center of gravity.
In the vehicle’s body profile, it has a steeply raked windscreen flowing into an extended roofline. It also features a new bumper and tailgate design, among other exterior design touches.
The Touring Sports is, in essence, part of an significant overhaul of a production hatchback that has served Toyota well since European models first went on sale in 2007. In the automaker’s general notes on the new Auris look and feel, they make mention to the fact that this “reflects Toyota’s determination to engineer more appealing, dynamically engaging cars” that are “bolder, more dynamic, better equipped and cheaper to run than ever before.”
The hybrid system being used in the Touring Sports is capable of operating both independently and in combination with regards to the on-board 1.8 litre VVT-i petrol engine and 60 kW electric motor. It gives the car a 0-100 km/h (62 MPH) acceleration time of 10.9 seconds and a maximum speed of 180 km/h (111 MPH).
As part of the hybrid integration, the Touring Sports and other Auris hybrids have what’s described as “an exclusive meter and Eco Drive Support monitor design within the driver’s instrument binnacle, a hybrid blue shift-by-wire gear lever and hybrid-exclusive instrument panel ornamentation.”