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They are so bold as to suggest demand may outstrip supply in some cases for the first quarter of next year – a hint, perhaps, to potential customers to get their orders in early.

I think the timing of the detailed announcement in October is excellent from a strategic perspective, coming as it does after the Budget (October 9).

Incidentally, the “invasion” drive they talk about is firmly based on the brand’s Global Architecture (TNGA), which means they can promise, and deliver, on better-looking cars.

Already the C-HR compact SUV is underlining just how great the Japanese giant can make a car look these days.

While the C-HR has just petrol and hybrid powertrains – no diesel, as already outlined – the new RAV4 goes one further: It will come here only as a 2.5-litre hybrid.

First arrivals of the popular SUV are expected from the first week in January.

This new one is 10mm wider and has a 30mm longer wheelbase than its forerunner.

They claim extra space in a more comfortable cabin and say luggage room is up to 580 litres.

There is also an updated version of the interactive Toyota Touch 2 system with 3D sat-nav mapping, voice recognition and phone connectivity.

Meanwhile, the new Auris small-family car benefits from much sharper styling and is 25mm lower than the current one but has a 40mm longer wheelbase.

Make that a 100mm longer wheelbase for the Touring Sport (‘estate’), which has much the same footprint as the Avensis, believe it or not.

Both the hatch and Touring Sport are due in dealers the third week of January.

They will come with either a 1.8-litre or 2.0-litre hybrid powertrain (petrol electric).

Toyota are claiming better ride comfort, stability and handling thanks to the TNGA platform I mentioned earlier.

The 1.8-litre hybrid version is already well known to us but the new 2-litre should put a bit more pep in the step with its 180bhp powerbase – a lot of punch for a small family car.

And, as if to underline its potential performance, this version will have paddles on the steering wheel.

The Camry saloon doesn’t get here until the first week of April, though pricing will be published on October 18, like the others.

As of now, more than 550 drivers here have expressed an interest in the car.

The “challenge”, Toyota say, will be to match demand with the 300 to 400 cars they can get next year.

The large saloon has a newly developed 2.5 litre hybrid engine and total power of 218hp.

Toyota Ireland chief executive Steve Tormey says 2019 represents a “new era” for the brand here – in terms, one surmises, of going so definitively down the hybrid route and doing without new diesel cars.

Hybrid now accounts for 52pc of their total car sales and they expect the new quartet to significantly increase that number next year as, he says, “more and more drivers naturally migrate away from diesel”.


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