Toyota will expand its hybrid family with the launch of the new Auris, which will be unveiled at the Geneva auto show on March 6.
The third generation of Toyota's compact hatchback will be sold with a new, sportier version of Toyota's hybrid system that uses a 2.0-liter gasoline engine, Toyota said in a statement. The variant will sit above the standard 1.8-liter gasoline-electric hybrid. Toyota has not provided performance details on the new hybrid.
Toyota is expanding its hybrid range following soaring sales as buyers look for alternatives to diesels. Toyota increased its hybrid sales in Europe by 38 percent last year compared with 2016. Hybrids now account for 52 percent of the models that Toyota and sister brand Lexus sell in western Europe, the company said.
The new Auris will feature a more dynamic exterior design, Toyota said, without giving more details ahead of the car's Geneva debut.
The Auris was the No. 9-selling compact in Europe last year with a volume of 114,415 unit, down 12 percent on the year before, figures from market researcher JATO Dynamics show. Toyota said it sold 82,400 Auris hybrids across its European region, which includes Russia and Turkey.
Toyota said the Auris will continue to be built at its plant in Burnaston, central England. It will be underpinned by Toyota's New Global Architecture (TNGA). The automaker's factory in Deeside, North Wales, will be the main source for the car's engines, Toyota said.
A station wagon version of the new Auris is also likely. That model would also include a hybrid variant.
Toyota wouldn't say whether it would stop offering the Auris with a diesel, although that is a possibility given that the powertrain accounted for just 7 percent of the automaker's total sales in Europe last year, according to JATO. Currently, a diesel version of the Auris is offered in select markets.
Toyota will also use Geneva to show a concept previewing its new sports car developed alongside BMW. That model is expected to be badged the Supra.