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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Official: Toyota Corolla Cross-based small bakkie going ahead

Production has reportedly been approved in Brazil from 2027 with only a hybrid powertrain.

Reports of Toyota adopting a two-tier “small bakkie” roll-out has seemingly proved accurate, according to a newly discovered claim from Brazil.

Traditional or non-traditional bakkie

Last year, it was alleged that the marque would be introducing a new body-on-frame, half-ton below the Hilux, and reportedly, a unibody spun-off of the Corolla Cross’ TNGA-C platform aimed at the Ford Maverick, Honda Ridgeline and Hyundai Santa Cruz as more of a lifestyle offering.

While the former has since been revealed in the guise of the Hilux Champ, which for now remains a no-no for South Africa, the latter has remained a source of speculation in lieu of a supposed world reveal in 2027.

ALSO READ: Toyota Corolla Cross now rumoured to underpin new small bakkie

According to a Brazil’s AutoData though, the unnamed newcomer has been given the go-ahead following the signing of an agreement between Toyota and the Metalworkers Union of Sorocaba, the latter a municipal area in the state of São Paulo where one of Toyota’s four factories in Brazil is located.

The facility also being where assembly of the Corolla Cross takes place, the report states production will take place in 2027 and initially, only with a hybrid powertrain more than likely similar in displacement and outputs to that of the Cross.

One factory only

Its production commencing following that of a localised version of the Yaris Cross scheduled for the end of this year, the new bakkie will take eventual aim not only at the Maverick, Ram Rampage, Chevrolet Montana and Fiat Toro, but also Volkswagen’s replacement for the Saveiro due in 2026.

Toyota readying new bakkie based on Corolla Cross in 2027
The all-electric EPU Concept shown in Tokyo last year has already been cited as having provided a preview of what the new “small” bakkie could look like. Image: Toyota

The availability of the newcomer as a hybrid-only conforming to Toyota’s product strategy of having all of its products hybridised by 2025, the selection of the Sorocaba Plant will be an exclusive as apart from the presence of the Corolla Cross, no other facility is set to produce a market specific variant with different engines or a tweaked design.

“There is no other place where the pickup is produced,” the union’s leader, Marcelo Silva, was quoted by the publication as saying.

More in due course

While it remains to be seen whether market availability outside of South America, and indeed with right-hand-drive, will happen, rumours have already alluded of a possible preview having taken place in the shape of the electric EPU Concept shown at the Tokyo Mobility Show last year.

As it stands, no further details are known, with the same applying as to whether Toyota would use the revived Stout moniker following the discovery of a trademark submission in Argentina two years ago.

Additional information from motor1.com Brazil

ALSO READ: Toyota admits there is space for a ‘junior’ Hilux

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