The new Auris may be much more interesting to look at than the last one, but without Toyota producing a hot GRMN version, it’s unlikely to entice the average petrolhead.
But what we have here is not your average Auris. Well, technically it’s a Corolla - as the car is referred to in some markets - but that’s not we mean. This one’s been converted to rear-wheel drive and given 1000bhp, so Fredric Aasbo can go very sideways in it while competing in the Formula Drift championship.
Built by Papadakis Racing racing, it packs a 2.7-litre 2AR-FE inline-four, hooked up to a four-speed manual gearbox. Thanks to the fitting of a Borg Warner EFR 9174, bigger injectors, new fuel pumps and much more besides, it makes that magic 1000bhp figure.
If you’re feeling a sense of deja vu, there’s a good reason why: Papadakis built something very similar using the previous-generation Corolla/Auris last year. But the team didn’t just take that car and slap on the new hatchback’s more expressive face. Nope: they were given a pre-production shell in secret, into which the engine and rear-drive powertrain of the old car were transplanted. A whole new wide-body conversion kit had to be fabricated for the vehicle too.
Incredibly, all of this was done in just three months. And how about this as a reward for all that hard work: at the opening round of the 2018 series in Long Beach, Fredric Aasbo drifted the car to victory.