As it has in the U.S.
is boosting its sales expectations for 2008. Over here, the Japanese juggernaut aims to sell 1.2 million vehicles in 2008 — and the new Auris hatchback is one way the company hopes to extend its reach. The Auris is a Corolla-sized, five-door hatchback concept that Toyota
says is headed for production. But it will not displace the Corolla entirely; other compact Toyotas will still carry the Corolla badge, with the Auris appealing to a specific niche. The name comes from the Latin for “gold,” and Toyota
promises packaging gold inside the Auris, which has a tall roof, a high waistline, and short overhangs to produce a roomy passenger cabin. Outside, the strong Renault styling influences meld with a front end straight from the Toyota Yaris. Like the Ford iosis X concept, the Auris’ center console is “bridged” (we smell a new buzzword) and the gearshift is raised to sit closer to the driver’s plane of movement. A panoramic glass roof and 19-inch wheels are likely to get the axe as the Auris moves closer to production.
Honda Civic Type-R
Here’s the Honda superhatch the U.S.
market won’t be getting. But don’t fret too much — the new Honda Civic Type-R spun specifically for Europe isn’t any more powerful than the last R version sold in Europe
and it’s not got anything on the U.S. Civic Si. The Type-R has 198 hp, a single pony more than the U.S. Si., but it does get the considerably sleeker three-door hatch body pioneered by Honda’s Euro stylists. Honda says the Type-R scoots to 60 mph in less than 6.6 seconds, and that it steers and handles more cleanly thanks to 18-inch tires and a lowered ride height. The aerodynamic bits are standard, as are the Type-R logos on the brake calipers and the red-lined “H” logo on the honeycomb grille. Buyers will be able to choose a stripped racing version or a fully outfitted Type-R with side curtain airbags, dual-zone climate control, and a navigation system.