Down-sized

Toyota shows small SUV idea and economy-minded sports car

Small SUV will be based on new Yaris platform, while the econo sports car uses a BMW engine

15 January 2020 - 10:26 By Phuti Mpyane
The yet-to-be-named compact SUV will sit below the CH-R.
The yet-to-be-named compact SUV will sit below the CH-R.
Image: Supplied

Toyota will reportedly launch a new, compact, Yaris-based SUV. The unnamed model, that's still in sketch form, will be built on the lighter, but stiffer, TNGA-B platform used for the 2020 Yaris.

Poised to trade below the C-HR and offering more in terms of interior space and height than a typical Yaris, the model will be aimed at rivals in the segment, with Renault's Captur and Suzuki’s Ignis prime examples. It will probably share mechanical wares with the Yaris, such as the 1.0l and 1.5l engines and transmissions.

Toyota Europe vice-president Matthew Harrison is said to have promised it won't be just a Yaris with body cladding and raised suspension.  The car will be completely new and characteristically unique, with a dynamic design. The new model's name, market plans and date of introduction will be communicated at a future date.

The other downsize story at the company is the reveal of a Supra, powered by a four-cylinder turbo engine to complement the BMW-sourced 3.0l straight six-cylinder turbo with which it debuted.

The motor is also said to hail from technical partner BMW and powers the lesser, but not exactly slouchy, 145kW and 320Nm Z4 sDrive20i. The Supra four-cylinder gets the same ZF eight-speed auto and enjoys a spicier 187kW, but lower 264Nm, resulting in the 0-100km/h sprint taking 5.2 seconds.

A purported weight reduction of 100kg, with a bigger capacity motor, will mean a sharp drive, despite engine downsizing, and better fuel consumption.

“To achieve agile steering and stable cornering, we worked very hard to reduce the new car’s weight, while aiming for a 50:50 weight balance,” said GR Supra chief engineer Tetsuya Tada.

“This presented us with huge challenges, but we did not want to compromise on our targets.”

Toyota SA says it has no plans to introduce the four-cylinder GR Supra.

There four-cylinder Supra.
There four-cylinder Supra.
Image: supplied
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