WITH the new Auris HSD, Toyota is trying to dispel a nagging myth that environmentally friendly vehicles are underpowered. How, you might ask, is it planning on doing so?
To begin with, it made the new Auris hybrid as environmentally friendly as possible. It has a class-leading emissions figure of just 87g/km, which means it’s completely emissions tax free. But as Kerry Roodt, general manager of marketing communications of Toyota South Africa points out, it delivers so much more: “The Auris HSD entrenches Toyota’s position as the standard for green motoring by offering a level of refinement, practicality, performance and affordability that rivals conventional petrol and diesel cars. It also thrusts the newcomer into the forefront as a mainstream proposition, accessible to the largest possible audience.”
The standard Auris was a good place to start, it’s no longer the mundane hatch it used to be and in HSD specification it looks even better. The lower grille and lower rear bumper diffuser are finished in a hybrid-exclusive graphite metallic-paint colour and the Toyota bonnet and tailgate logos are in hybrid blue. There are hybrid logos on the front wings and a hybrid mark on the tailgate. The rear combination lamps incorporate hybrid-only LED lights. The 15-inch silver (XS) and 17-inch graphite (XR) alloy wheels are of a new design unique to the Auris Hybrid.
The interior space of the Auris has been preserved thanks to a repackaging of the battery pack under the rear seat. Other interior upgrades include an exclusive Eco Drive Support monitor in the instrument binnacle and a hybrid-blue shift-by-wire gear lever. XS-grade versions feature premium-quality cloth trim and a hybrid-blue brushed aluminium instrument panel finish, whilst high-grade XR models boast Ice Grey leather dashboard inserts accompanied by leather upholstery.
Capable of operating both independently and in combination, the HSD system’s 1.8 litre VVT-i petrol engine and electric motor generate a maximum power output of 100kW, equipping the Auris Hybrid with a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 10.9 seconds and a maximum speed of 180 km/h.
Moreover, when operating in the unique, switchable pure electric-vehicle (EV) mode not available to mild hybrid vehicles, the Auris Hybrid generates zero Co2, NOx and particulate emissions, driving for up to two kilometres continuously at speeds of up to about 50 km/h, dependant on battery charge and driving conditions.
Fitted as standard on both XS and XR variants, the new Auris HSD features Simple Intelligent Park Assist (SIPA), an Easy Set function making it easier and significantly quicker to use.
The system uses ultrasonic sensors on the front- and rear-side bumpers to identify viable parallel parking spaces. It will then automatically apply the correct sequence of steering angles for the parking manoeuvre into the target space without any steering input from the driver. All the driver needs do is control the vehicle’s speed.
The new Auris Hybrid benefits from a 3-year/100 000km warranty, extended to 8-year/195 000km on hybrid system components, including the battery. As with other Auris models, the new HSD range comes with a standard 5-year/90 000 km service plan.
Auris HSD XS: R297 900
Auris HSD XR: R323 100