Celebrate The New Year With A New AurisS

Those crazy folks at Toyota sure now how to party. This new year they're going to be debuting a new top-o-the-line Auris SR180 (the Auris being the hatch version of the European Corolla Hatch, and a social disease common in the West Indies). This range topper comes with a 175 horsepower 2.2 liter diesel that scoots the little hatch to 62 mph in a respectable 8.1 seconds while still producing 45.6 MPG in combined cylce driving. Oh, and of course you can get it in the Pure White paint job, which the press release describes as "über-cool." Photos and press release below.

Toyota Auris SR180

• New sports-focused Toyota Auris SR180 flagship model
• Toyota Motorsport lowered suspension and rear spoiler
• Dark-tinted rear privacy glass
• 17-inch alloy wheels
• 175bhp 2.2 D-4D engine gives nought to 62mph acceleration in 8.1 seconds
• On sale on 1 January 2008
• Prices £17,995 (three-door) and £18,495 (five-door)

A new flagship Toyota Auris hits the streets early next year, giving the range a new sporting edge. The SR180 does not stint on eye-appeal, with Toyota Motorsport lowered suspension springs giving it a ground-hugging stance and a neat new rear spoiler positioned atop the tailgate. Dark-tinted rear privacy glass and five-spoke 17-inch alloys add further to the style factor, while the choice of body colours includes an über-cool Pure White.

The SR180 is far from being all-show-and-no-do. The 2.2-litre D-4D engine generates 175bhp and a maximum 400Nm of torque from 2,000rpm, giving responsive and rewarding driving performance through the six-speed manual transmission. Benchmark acceleration from nought to 62mph is 8.1 seconds, while the D-4D engine's strong fuel efficiency returns an official 45.6mpg in combined cycle driving.

Further driving rewards are delivered by the dedicated, lightweight double wishbone rear suspension, tailored specifically to meet the demands of the model's higher performance characteristics. Vehicle stability control (VSC) with traction control (TRC) are provided as standard.

In keeping with its flagship status, the SR180 has a high equipment specification with automatic dual-zone air conditioning, dusk-sensing headlamps, rain-sensing wipers and cruise control all part of the standard package.

The new model is available to order now (for delivery in January), with both three and five-door versions available, priced respectively £17,995 and £18,495 on the road. [Toyota via World Car Fans]