Six years on, there’s now a new Toyota Auris – the third-generation model has just been revealed in a few official photos ahead of its debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show later this week.

Built on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), the new model is 40 mm longer than before, with all of it going to the wheelbase; the front overhang is also 20 mm shorter. The car is also 30 mm wider and 25 mm lower, while the cowl is now a massive 47 mm lower, giving the Auris a lower bonnet and a sleeker shape. Toyota says this also gives the driver a clearer view out.

It’s certainly a distinctive design, with Toyota appearing hellbent on banishing the Auris’ slightly frumpy image. A development of the company’s Keen Look and Under Priority design language, the front end features a narrow upper grille flanked by L-shaped full-LED headlights. Underneath it, the massive trapezoidal lower grille projects further out from the curved edge of the flatter clamshell bonnet.

Moving to the side, the beltline kinks upwards towards the rear for a more dynamic look, which is highlighted by the optional two-tone exterior colour scheme with a black roof. The rear design is more rounded and has a more compact look, thanks to the faster rear windscreen rake and prominent haunches above the rear wheel arches. The light guides of the full-LED tail lights emphasise the car’s extra width.

Under the skin, the Auris’ TNGA platform allows for a lower centre of gravity, multi-link rear suspension and a more rigid bodyshell incorporating high-strength steel to reinforce key areas. All this is said to contribute to better handling and stability without compromising ride and comfort. The latest-generation Toyota Safety Sense suite of driver assistance systems are also set to be included.

Other details are scarce, but it is confirmed that the Auris will be launched with just one conventionally-powered variant, with a 1.2 litre turbocharged petrol engine. It’s likely the same 8NR-FTS unit that was introduced in the facelifted previous-generation model, which makes 116 PS from 5,200 to 5,600 rpm and 185 Nm between 1,500 and 4,000 rpm.

Bigger news is that Toyota is offering two hybrid variants in a single model lineup for the first time. The 122 hp 1.8 litre unit should be derived from latest Prius, while the brand new 180 hp 2.0 litre version is expected to be the new Dynamic Force hybrid powertrain Toyota announced two weeks ago. The latter gains paddle shifters and is geared for a sportier driving experience.

The Auris five-door hatchback will likely form the basis of the next-generation Corolla sedan, and it could be closer to its four-door sibling this time around. The previous model was already called the Corolla Hatchback in a number of markets such as Australia, and the use of the nameplate is expected to be expanded to the UK with the move to the new generation.