Charl Bosch
Online Motoring Reporter
2 minute read
9 Jan 2020
9:21 am

Toyota Yaris underpinned SUV gets the thumbs-up

Charl Bosch

"The way that area of the market is continuing to grow and sub-divide, there would definitely be opportunities for additional products".

Introduced last year with the all-new Yaris, a new report from the United Kingdom has alleged that Toyota has given the green light for the GA-B platform to underpin a new small SUV below the C-HR.

According to Auto Express, the yet-to-be-named model will rival the likes of the Volkswagen T-Cross, Mazda CX-3, Nissan Juke and Renault Captur, and measure around four metres in overall length while retaining the Yaris’ MacPherson strut front suspension and rear torsion beam setup.

“C-HR is playing in the very top end of what could almost be a sort of coupé-crossover C-segment SUV. It doesn’t really compete with other products like Qashqai or more practical offerings,” Toyota Europe Executive Vice-President Matt Harrison told the publication.

“The traditional supermini hatch is probably the most robust of the segments. It’s holding up better than saloons and larger hatchbacks against crossovers – partly because of affordability, I think. But the B-SUV segment is also growing, pulling customers down from the C-segment”.

He also stated that despite the success of the C-HR, the segment in question continues to grow and that Toyota has by no means covered it fully with the C-HR, adding that it might grow its range of models on said platform even more going forward.

“If you look at the level of conquest we have with that car, it’s incredible, even from premium brands. But the way that area of the market is continuing to grow and sub-divide, there would definitely be opportunities for additional products. I don’t think for a minute that we’ve got it all covered with C-HR,” Harrison continued.

“We’re looking, we’re evaluating, and we see an increasing number of players doing that. There may be opportunities in future. The platform is flexible enough to support something like that, for sure”.

Despite Harrison remaining mum on further details, the publication reports that it could be introduced as a hybrid only model in Europe as per Toyota’s aim of having all of its models electrified by 2025.

With the axing of the 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine in Corolla last year on the Old Continent, leaving it as a hybrid model only, the newcomer could touch down with the Yaris’ 1.5-litre hybrid motor, although Japan and possibly other markets could receive the conventional 1.5-litre petrol motor, a manual gearbox and more than likely, four-wheel-drive.

Projected by Auto Express to be revealed during the second quarter of the year with sales in the UK commencing in 2021, the crossover will likely be limited to mainland Europe and Japan, whilst South Africa, if approved, could get the Daihatsu Rocky-based Raize that bowed in Tokyo in November instead.

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