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Toyota launched its new Blade hatch in Japan earlier today. Named not for the weapon of choice among Yakuza assassins of past decades, rather to "suggest an automobile with a 'sharpness' that fascinates people" (hmm), the Blade is a swank version of the Auris, which will is essentially a hatchback'd Corolla. It's got an interior swaddled in leather and alcantara, a 167-hp 2.4-liter four, and despite its mock-violent name, it's targeted to those approaching retirement. More important for our purposes, however, are rumors that a 280-hp, hot-hatch version could follow next year, sporting Toyota's 3.5-liter GR-FE V6. Dare we dream of a Toyota?

Press conference on the Toyota Blade HDTV [Nihon Car and Bike]

First Look? Toyota Corolla Hatch for Europe; T(u)RD Kit: The Toyota Auris Sportiva [internal]