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by Jez Spinks

Toyota’s high-selling Corolla hatchback is set to boost its popularity in Europe and possibly Australia with the introduction of a variant powered by a BMW turbo diesel engine.

UK car magazine Autocar is reporting that Toyota insiders have revealed the next-generation Auris – the European badge for the Corolla – due about 2014 will be one of the cars to benefit from the recent technology-share agreement between the Japanese car maker and BMW.

BMW is to provide Toyota with 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesels in return for a joint effort on lithium-ion battery development.

It’s believed Toyota will not share its hybrid know-how with BMW, while the diesel engines will not be permitted for use in Lexus models.

It’s likely the next Corolla would get the 1.6-litre BMW diesel that is used in the likes of the Mini Cooper D models and smaller or entry-level BMWs.

The 1.6L produces 82kW of power and 270Nm of torque. While it’s 18kW short of the 100kW provided by the current Corolla’s 1.8-litre petrol engine, its significant amount of extra pulling power (plus 95Nm) should guarantee better driveability.

The diesel also delivers official fuel consumption of 3.8L/100km in the Mini Cooper hatchback compared to the Corolla’s 7.3 (both manual gearboxes).

Toyota Australia has already told CarAdvice that it would import diesel-powered versions of the Corolla and Camry if they became available for the local market.