Toyota will have no diesel passenger cars on sale in Europe by the end of this year, citing limited demand and widespread uptake of hybrid alternatives.
The Toyota Aygo's mid-life refresh brings about a selection of visual and technical updates, with the 2018 auto on show for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show.
The move forced other auto giants to come out in diesel's defence, dismissing talk of the death of diesel. In contrast, Toyota's diesel mix on passenger cars was less than 10% in 2017. Meanwhile sales of Toyota's hybrid models have risen sharply. They are a 1.8-liter engine paired with a motor to produce 122 horsepower and a new 2.0-liter inline-4 hybrid engine good for 180 hp.
For this reason, Toyota has made a decision to offer its core models with a choice of two hybrid powertrains; one providing the traditional benefits of fuel efficiency and a relaxing drive, the second building on these strengths with greater power and more dynamic driving characteristics.
Toyota has done this once before with the C-HR that was launched in 2016.
But the "dieselgate" emissions cheating scandal that blew up at Volkswagen in 2015, heavily discrediting diesel technology, has created a new opening for Toyota, which was the first auto maker to market hybrid engines two decades ago. "In commercial vehicles, where personal and business needs (for example, torque and payload) remain, we will continue to offer the latest technology diesels". Since then, HEV sales have substantially exceeded those of our diesels.
"Built on the new TNGA platform (also underpinning the C-HR crossover and a variety of other future Toyota models), the 2019 Auris is 40 mm (1.6") longer than the outgoing generation, with all of them going into the vehicle's wheelbase. Volkswagen chief Matthias Mueller is convinced that diesel will "experience a revival", but that may be optimistic - it has a bad rap in Europe, and EVs may kill it off even if there is a resurgence.