If chatter from a Thailand automotive forum is anything to go by, Toyota is currently in the early stages of developing a new compact crossover based on its TNGA-C (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform. This modular platform already underpins the Prius and C-HR crossover, so deriving a new product is just a matter of developing a top hat.
According to the HeadlightMag forum, Toyota Thailand is leading the charge in developing the new crossover which is expected to be positioned below the C-HR. It is also being said that the upcoming product would employ a conventional SUV-ish styling rather than having a radical design like the C-HR which is quite popular in European and Southeast Asian markets.
The new Toyota compact crossover which is expected to be ready not before mid-2020 is likely to have Thailand as its primary production base. In Toyota’s global portfolio, the new SUV will slot above the Toyota Rush. Competition will come from the likes of Nissan Juke, Chevrolet Tracker, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 etc. If Toyota decides to bring this SUV to our market, it would be positioned against the Hyundai Creta and Maruti S-Cross.
The new Toyota compact SUV is expected to derive its powertrain options from the new Corolla and C-HR. The 1.2-liter turbocharged petrol engine and a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle petrol hybrid unit are the likely candidates.
The new model in question would be a nice fit for India given the market’s decisive shift towards SUVs. Moreover, the TNGA-C platform will be localized here since it also underpins the next-generation Corolla, thus improving the cost-structure for the new SUV. Launching the new compact crossover in India would plug the massive gap between the Fortuner, and Vitara Brezza-based derivative which is currently under development. It has already been spied on test in India, in camouflage avatar.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor, the Indian subsidiary, is steadily equipping itself to introduce a comprehensive range of hybrid vehicles in the coming years to take advantage of the government’s push for electrification. As a first step towards this goal, Toyota’s auto component wing Denso has entered into a JV with Toshiba and Suzuki to set up a manufacturing facility in Gujarat for Lithium-ion batteries.