Toyota reveals its hatchback plans for India

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The new car will be available in hatchback as well as saloon variant. And it's not the Yaris

The new car will be available in hatchback as well as saloon variant. And it’s not the Yaris

Toyota is surely on a roll in India. After trumping Honda with its Fortuner and Corolla Altis, the Japanese manufacturer is planning to take on everyone else in the entry level market. One of the leading auto magazines
of the country, Autocar India has revealed on its website that Toyota is planning a compact family car for India in December 2010. The company has apparently disclosed the fact to the magazine at the Tokyo Motor Show. The car will be launched in two body styles – hatchback and saloon. Toyota is planning to launch the saloon version of the car first (December 2010/ January 2011), and follow it later with the hatchback variant (four months later). The company also plans to reveal the car in its conceptual stage at the Auto Expo 2010. Termed as Toyota’s compact family car, the vehicle is codenamed EFC 800L.

The saloon and hatchback versions will be propelled by petrol engines that may vary from 1.2-litre to 1.5-litre and a 1.4-litre turbo diesel mill that will most probably be similar to the engine doing duty on the Yaris. While the engines are going to be the same on hatchback and saloon variants, their power and torque ratings may differ slightly on the two body styles. If the good blokes at Autocar India were to be believed, the new car has been tailmade keeping the taste and requirements of the India customer. The new car will offer class leading space for the back seat passengers and will be very comfortable. The new car will have India as its primary production hub, and will later be introduced and produced in Brazil as well. Another highlight of the new car will be its price, which has been made to fit within a certain budget by increasing localization. The company plans to sell 3.5 to 4 lakh units in by 2015, which we reckon is a high expectation, especially when you take into consideration the increasing number of options in the big hatch and entry level saloon market. Rumours were also rife earlier this year about Toyota planning to launch a totally new brand (something like Daihatsu) to badge the new car with. The new brand, as speculated, was expected to be an entirely new entity, for more economical cars meant for markets like India.

Test mules of a Toyota hatchback were snapped about eight months ago. We are not sure whether it’s the same car Toyota is planning for India, but if that’s the case, the Japanese carmaker may just pop a surprise by launching the car much earlier than anticipated. We’d love it if that happens!

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