Toyota reportedly working on a Yaris-based small SUV
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Toyota has hinted at an all-new SUV that would swell the brand’s already fat sales numbers.
Reports from British publication Auto Express revealed that the brand is keen on building a new baby SUV.
The SUV is believed to be based on the same underpinnings as the new Yaris hatch, which is due to land in New Zealand and Australia by the middle of this year.
Auto Express quoted Toyota’s European executive vice-president Matt Harrison who said the company is considering the new SUV to plug a gap in its line-up below the C-HR.
Harrison told Auto Express the brand’s current smallest SUV, the C-HR, leaves room for another model below it to target cheaper rivals such as the Nissan Qashqai.
The C-HR starts at about $32,990 drive-away in New Zealand, which places it at the pricier end of the small SUV scale.
New cheaper alternatives have arrived on the market including the Hyundai Venue, which has the head-turning starting price of $27,990 (before on-road costs).
The SUV is expected to be a similar length to the Yaris but with a larger wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels), which would mean a more spacious cabin.
The news of the impending small SUV comes as Toyota confirms details for its new Yaris GR hot hatch, which is expected to arrive locally at the end of this year.
The Yaris GR will be powered by a fire-cracker three-cylinder engine that makes 200kW and 370Nm paired to a six-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive set-up.
Toyota says the Yaris GR can hit 100km/h from a standstill in 5.5 seconds on the way to a top speed of 230km/h.