Exactly forty years after the presentation of the first model, the new generation of the Toyota Corolla, unveiled first in Paris in the form of a gold-yellow liveried concept car and then at the Bologna Motor Show as a production model, will be called Auris in Europe while it will keep its historic name in the rest of the world.
The similarity in sound with the name of its smaller sibling, the Yaris, is no coincidence and, looking at the styling, this is not the only thing that the two cars have in common. There is a close relationship between the aesthetics and proportions of both cars and in the Auris these have been defined by in-depth market studies into what today’s customer expects from a car.
Wahei Hirai, director of design for Toyota, explains: “it is a model that draws much inspiration from the European orientation that currently dominates the C segment. The package is the fulcrum around which the entire project turns, with a slight tendency to start from the inside and design the exterior later”. All of which translates into a prevalence of space and functionality over mere form. The package has grown vertically relative to the outgoing model and as a result all aspects of the cabin are taller. This includes the central tunnel which becomes a console sustained by a flying insert that “recalls the flying buttresses used in architecture”, as Hirai puts it.
And this area, with the short gearstick that is very convenient, the handbrake incorporated into the general design and the rationalised layout of the instruments, constitutes the heart of the cabin. All around, the space offers high standards of comfort, made possible by the total length of the vehicle at 422 cm which together with the very short overhangs makes this one of the biggest cabin sections in its class.
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 162