The role of Auris in transforming Toyota’s profile in the C-segment hatchback market will enjoy maximum impact with the arrival of the new performance-focused T180.
This flagship model benefits from a raft of engineering and design features that deliver even greater driver rewards, not least the power provided by Toyota’s acclaimed 2.2-litre D-4D 180 four-cylinder engine, the most powerful – yet also one of the cleanest – among all diesels in its class.
In order to make best use of the 175bhp available from the lightweight unit, the T180 is equipped with a new rear suspension: a multilink system replaces the torsion beam deployed elsewhere in the range, giving better dynamic performance. Front brake discs have also increased in size to maintain stopping power and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRC) systems are fitted as standard.
The 8.1 second nought-to-62mph acceleration time only tells part of the story. With a prodigious 400Nm of torque generated between 2,000 and 2,600rpm, the T180 has powerful in-gear performance, too, shifting from 50 to 75mph in 8.4 seconds. A six-speed manual transmission is fitted as standard.
The engine is smooth and ultra-efficient, with the lowest compression ratio – 15.8:1 – of any production diesel unit. High-pressure piezo-electric injectors and ceramic glow plugs further contribute to its refined performance and fuel economy, with 45.6mpg in combined cycle driving.
The engine’s environmental credentials are equally impressive. Thanks to Toyota’s D-CAT clean diesel technology and the maintenance-free four-way DPNR catalyst, the D-4D 180 is the cleanest diesel on the market in terms of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions; carbon dioxide emissions are 164g/km.
The T180 is styled to match its performance with 17-inch alloy wheels and smoked glass headlamps. The equipment specification matches the T Spirit grade, adding an electric sunroof to premium features such as keyless Smart Entry and Start, dual-zone climate control air conditioning, automatic wipers and headlights and cruise control.
Both three and five-door versions of the T180 are available, priced £18,295 and £18,795 respectively. Both are rated Group 13 for insurance.
Sales start on 1 April, coinciding with the UK launch of the three-door Auris. Priced £500 less than equivalent five-door models, these are available in all grades except T Spirit.