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Say g’day to Toyota’s sub-Yaris Aygo

Yaris-look: Toyota's current Aygo will be renewed by 2012.

Toyota Euro city car tipped for Oz, but not until at least 2011

20 Jan 2009

TOYOTA is looking at introducing the next-generation Aygo to Australia within three years to slot beneath its best-selling Yaris light car.

The replacement for the current-generation sub-B segment city car is thought to be on track for a European launch in about 2011 or 2012.

Like the 2005 original, Toyota is expected to co-develop the next Aygo with PSA Peugeot Citroen, which also sells its versions of the car as the Peugeot 107 and Citroen C1.

The trio are built in a dedicated facility in Kolin, Czech Republic, as part of the TPCA Toyota Peugeot Citroen Automobile joint venture announced at the 2002 Geneva motor show for the creation and implementation of the ‘B-Zero’ city car.

Measuring 3405mm long, 1615mm wide and 1465mm high, the 890kg Aygo is built on a 2340mm wheelbase, is offered as a three or five-door hatchback, and uses a 51kW/94Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with a combined average fuel consumption figure of 4.6 litres per 100km and a carbon dioxide emissions rating of just 109gm/km.

Before a facelift late last year, there was also a 40kW/130Nm 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel powerplant capable of averaging 4.1L/100km, but that has been discontinued in the Toyota model.

Only minor changes to the front and rear, as well as equipment and specification differences separate it from the Peugeot and Citroen cars.

About 300,000 units are produced annually, with each brand receiving an even split of cars.

8 center image Since the series was released at the 2005 Geneva show, demand has exceeded expectation, essentially curtailing plans for the Aygo/107/C1 to be exported beyond the European Union.

Despite this, Peugeot Automobiles Australia has indicated that it would also like to import the 107 to Australia.

With the current Aygo, Toyota was responsible for much of the engineering work, and will probably twin much of the new car’s development with the next-generation Yaris, which is due out at about the same time.

Some overseas reports suggest Toyota may even base its next-generation of sub-B and light cars on an expanded version of the new iQ’s platform.

As a result, the Aygo is expected to be available with some of the Yaris’ smaller engine and transmission choices, including the all-important automatic gearbox necessary for markets such as Australia.

Peter Evans, Toyota’s corporate manager of product planning, told GoAuto Media that the existing Aygo’s three-cylinder petrol engine was deemed too small when the company first assessed it, but that now Australia is just about ready for the compact city car.

“A model under Yaris (like the Aygo) – there are opportunities within our marketplace for the brand,” he said.

“A couple of years ago I might have had some concerns about (offering) a 1.0-litre engine.

“But I think the world has changed. My read of, and customer feedback and research from, the consumer, that they wouldn’t be adverse to a smaller car with a smaller engine.

“And I think a prudent company would be hedging its bets with a complete range of small cars for a new-world order.”

Toyota also offers other sub-B light car alternatives to the Aygo in Asia, but Mr Evans believes that none have the necessary sophistication, refinement or safety specifications expected by Australian consumers.

“Australians now demand all the safety equipment, and then there are all kinds of issues with the design (since) it is made for developing countries, in terms of general sophistication, in terms of NVH (noise/vibration/harshness), and all those types of issues.

“That’s why – from a sub-Yaris point of view – we are more inclined to look at something like the Aygo than any low-cost model option.”

Mr Evans says that even if the Aygo replacement continued to be built only in Eastern Europe, it still had a chance of coming to Australia, despite the fall in the value of the Australian dollar.

“The Yen is pretty strong at the moment, so whether it is the Yen or the Euro (it doesn’t really matter).”

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