Urban life presents particular challenges. When it comes to driving, it’s an environment where motorists increasingly appreciate the robust, high-riding qualities of an SUV, but on a scale tailored to suit urban streets and with a genuine emphasis on environmental performance. These are exactly the qualities Toyota has instilled in the all-new Toyota Yaris Cross. The new Toyota Yaris Cross has been designed and developed for Europe, specifically to meet the requirements and preferences of the region’s B-SUV market. It will be made in Europe too, at Toyota Motor Manufacturing France (TMMF), alongside the new generation Yaris hatchback, from 2021. At the same time, drivers want a vehicle that’s distinctive and stylish, and which has all the flexibility they need for an active lifestyle.
The new Yaris Cross draws on Toyota’s strong heritage of advanced hybrid technology, small car design and SUV engineering. As a member of the Yaris family, Yaris Cross is constructed on Toyota’s new GA-B compact car platform. It also shares the “big-small” design and packaging concept that characterised the original Yaris, and presents a roomy interior within compact exterior dimensions. Toyota’s world leadership in hybrid vehicle technology includes the first use of a hybrid system in a B-segment car with the original Yaris Hybrid in 2012. The unmatched experience it has gained ensures that Toyota Yaris Cross’s new fourth generation hybrid powertrain delivers exceptional performance and efficiency. Toyota Yaris Cross is also a genuine SUV, benefiting from Toyota’s experience in originating the concept of the recreational SUV 25 years ago with the Toyota RAV4.
Yaris Cross benefits from Toyota’s fourth generation hybrid technology. Toyota successfully pioneered the use of full hybrid technology in B-segment cars with the introduction of the first Yaris Hybrid hatchback in 2012. The Yaris and Yaris Cross are the first models to use Toyota’s latest 1.5 hybrid system, developed directly from the larger 2.0 and 2.5-litre powertrains used by recent new models such as the Corolla, C-HR, RAV4 and Camry. This features a new 1.5-litre, three-cylinder Atkinson-cycle petrol engine, precision-engineered to reduce friction and mechanical losses and optimise combustion speed. The new hybrid system has a maximum output of 116 DIN hp. Special attention has been given to power delivery, making the system very responsive to drive. In terms of emissions efficiency, the front-wheel drive model starts from below 90 g/km CO2 and the AWD-i version from below 100 g/km.
The design process of Toyota Yaris Cross brought together a wide team from studios in both Europe and Japan. To describe their ideas and inspiration in more detail, please find below the words of one member of the team – Lance Scott, Design General Manager at Toyota’s EDD studio in Nice, France. From the very beginnings of the design concept, we had the European customer in mind, but needed to understand more about them. After an enjoyable and enlightening process, the company came back enthusiastic to design a car that would mirror their personality and deliver a vibrant combination of being both sophisticated and energetic. So we went out and interviewed real customers to understand their lifestyle, what they liked, what their daily activities were and how they enjoyed themselves.
As a team, we came up with the key words ‘Robust’ and ‘Minimalistic’, which Toyota felt would express both compactness and agility, as well as the robustness and strength of an SUV. This diamond body shape combined with the 4 bold fenders gave us an energetic shape which was both strong and sophisticated. When Toyota started to sketch ideas for the exterior, the iconic image of a diamond consistently came to mind. Subsequently the company coined the phrase ‘nimble diamond’ to express the hard, strong and premium image of the gemstone combined with the agile and fun to drive personality Toyota felt the car needed to convey. The face was also a very important aspect for us. Toyota expects to produce more than 150,000 Yaris Cross a year at the TMMF Onnaing factory, near Valenciennes in France, and achieve a B-SUV segment share of more than 8%.
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