Workers at the Toyota Technical Centre in Melbourne worked on the steering and chassis calibration of the new Yaris hatch, which will arrive in local showrooms in October.
Toyota Australia says the preferences of Australia drivers mean Yaris vehicles sold here will have a level of steering feedback and directness and a sharpness of handling similar to vehicles sold in Europe.
Despite possessing a 50mm longer wheelbase than the outgoing Yaris and being 100mm longer overall, the new model maintains its 9.4m turning circle thanks to the adoption of electric power steering across the range and added power assistance at parking speeds.
Improved body rigidity has led to reduced twisting, especially at the rear, which Toyota promises will result in better rear-wheel grip, sharper steering response and improved in-corner stability.
Full specifications of the new 2012 Toyota Yaris for Australia are still under wraps. Overseas, the new hatch is available with a 74kW/132Nm 1.3-litre engine as well as an 80kW/141Nm 1.5-litre petrol unit.
According to Toyota UK, the smaller engine uses fuel at a rate of 5.0-5.4 litres/100km on the combined cycle, although those figures will climb slightly under Australian standards.
Toyota is still to reveal the new Yaris sedan with the model set to go on sale in 2012. Until it joins the local line-up, the previous-shape sedan will be sold alongside the new hatch.