Toyota lines up two MPVs, one SUV for India launch this year

    Two of these will be supplied by Maruti, while one will be a CBU import.

    Published On Jul 26, 2023 08:00:00 AM

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    The badge-engineering exercise between Toyota and Maruti Suzuki has already given us three pairs of shared models between the two brands in India, the most recent one being the Innova Hycross-Invicto duo. And it’s certainly not stopping at that. As we had reported in January this year, Toyota is readying two more badge-engineered Maruti Suzuki models for launch in India this year, and these cars will be based on the Ertiga and Fronx. Additionally, the third-gen Vellfire, which saw its global unveiling recently, is also on the cards for a launch this year.

    Toyota is likely to play all its cards in quick succession, so here’s a rundown of what you can expect from all three new launches this year, and when they will likely hit the market.

    Toyota Rumion launching in August

    The first to hit the market will be a rebadged version of the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. Toyota already sells a rebadged Ertiga in markets like South Africa where it’s known as the Rumion. Maruti Suzuki builds and exports it from India, and our sources tell us that the India-spec model will be identical to the export version. Toyota has even trademarked the Rumion nameplate in India, which suggests it could be known by the same name here as well.

    Compared to the Ertiga, the Rumion will have a few styling changes to its plastic parts. It will get an all-new bumper with revised fog lamp surrounds, an Innova Crysta-like grille, and new alloy wheels. On the inside, it will have a blacked-out dashboard contrasted with wood-like inserts; the upholstery is also expected to be finished in black. The Ertiga, meanwhile, gets beige interiors.

    The equipment list will also be carried over as is, but the Rumion will only be offered as a 7-seater, which means the 6-seater XL6 will continue to maintain its unique positioning.

    Under the hood, the Toyota MPV will continue with Maruti’s 1.5-litre, naturally aspirated, four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 103hp and 137Nm of torque, and will come mated to a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. Like the Ertiga, the Toyota version will also be offered with a factory-fitted CNG kit.

    Also See: Tata Motors to kick off festive season with revamped SUV line up

    Next-gen Toyota Vellfire expected in September

    The Rumion will be followed by the next-gen Vellfire, which will be positioned at the opposite end of the MPV price spectrum. The luxury MPV was just globally unveiled last month, and some dealers in India have already started accepting unofficial bookings. The launch is slated for September, as per our dealer sources.

    This is not a badge-engineered model but Toyota’s own product and it will be brought to India as a full import. The new Vellfire continues with an outlandish design language like its predecessor, and is a lot more luxurious on the inside. It has a 3m-long wheelbase with ample room for up to six people, and the India-spec model is also expected to come with the Executive Lounge package that gets you two sumptuously appointed individual captain chairs for the second row with retractable tables, ventilation, ottoman leg rests and much more.

    The new Vellfire is based on Toyota’s TNGA-K modular platform, and in India, it's expected to be offered with a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol-hybrid powertrain that has a combined power output of 250hp, and comes mated to an e-CVT transmission. Internationally, there’s also a 279hp, 2.4-litre petrol engine that comes mated to a CVT gearbox.

    Toyota’s version of Maruti Fronx expected by Diwali

    This, again, will be a badge-engineered model from Maruti Suzuki, but one that will crucially give Toyota a sub-4m crossover – a space that has been left vacant since the Urban Cruiser was discontinued. It’s expected to launch around the festive season, but expect the changes on the Toyota version to be minimal and only cosmetic, just like the Baleno-Glanza or Hycross-Invicto. There’s, however, no details on what Toyota’s version of the coupe crossover could be called in India.

    In terms of exterior design, besides the Toyota badge, changes will be limited to bumpers, lighting elements and alloy wheels. On the inside, the dashboard is expected to be carried forward as is, albeit with new colours for the trim and upholstery. The equipment list will also be identical on both models.

    Under the hood, the Toyota’s version of the Fronx will carry over the 1.2-litre naturally aspirated engine in both petrol and CNG guise, along with the 5-speed manual and AMT gearboxes. It will also likely carry over the 1.0-litre BoosterJet turbo-petrol engine with its manual and 6-speed automatic gearbox. This, then, could be the first turbo-petrol motor in Toyota’s line-up that’s primarily dominated by hybrids and diesels.

    Which of these upcoming Toyota launches are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below.  

    Also See:

    Hyundai Creta, Alcazar Adventure Editions coming soon

    Toyota Century SUV road testing begins ahead of late 2023 debut

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