Toyota's C-segment warrior:
If at all there is a chink in TKM's armour, it has to be the lack of a C-segment sedan and we've just learned that Toyota is all set to arm itself with one such product.
In a story authored by Gustavo Ruffo and Lucas Litvay on this month's edition of Car and Driver Brazil, Toyota is learned to be silently working on upmarket sedan and hatchback based on the Etios platform. Toyota is presently promoting the Etios in Brazil, and the new product is not expected to come out in the next year.
The illustration suggests that the new twins will be the production versions of the Dear Qin concepts showcased at the Beijing Auto show. These are touted be the first two in the eight new compact cars the Japanese giant plans to build for the BRIC countries.
TKM is tight-lipped about the proceedings, but we can say that the sedan will be positioned above the Etios, which puts it right into the territory of the Hyundai Verna, Nissan Sunny and Skoda Rapid. The hatchback will be squeezed in between the Etios twins.
While Brazil is expected to get only the 1.5 litre petrol, the choice of motors (speculatively) for India is same as the Etios family. The 1.5 and 1.2 litre petrol engines will propel the sedan and the hatchback respectively while the 1.4 litre oil-burner will be common across the models, although the state of tune is unclear as of now.
Design and equipment :
Gone are the mundane lines of Etios. The car definitely looks stylish with sharp angular headlamps, funkier grill and bumper. The rear also has nothing that suggests it's relationship with Etios and it won't feel out of place to stand shoulder to shoulder with the 'Fludic' Verna.
Expect improved material quality, lots of space (at 2.55 metre the wheelbase is same as Etios) and more equipment. This could very well be TKM's image-makeover model.