Geared up for ascent
Toyota faces a long-distance haul next year, writes Paul Gover
AQUIET year and big 2010 discounts will be followed by one of the most important Toyota product pushes of recent times next year.
The mainstream Camry is set for a complete remake, the baby Yaris will be renewed and the funky FJ Cruiser will add some Gen Y impact to showrooms. But there is much more from Toyota in 2011, including the preview of the production version of the make-or-break FT-86 sports car.
Among the likely previews are a set of Prius hybrid spin-offs led by a people mover and a coupe— and perhaps a pick-up — and a late-year showing of the next Corolla, most likely at the Tokyo Motor Show.
‘‘Toyota policy is we don’t comment on any potential future product,’’ says Mike Breen of Toyota Australia. ‘‘We have three major launches next year. You can probably guess what they are.’’
He stonewalls on anything beyond the big three, even though leaked plans from the US highlight the amount of new product coming from the world’s biggest carmaker.
The RAV4 is set for a remake in 2012 following a preview in ’11, probably with some sort of hybrid drive system. The Kluger could also get a facelift late next year.
‘‘The years following 2011 will see us start to introduce new models,’’ says Breen.
‘‘It’s not going to all come at once. It will happen over a couple of years in a gradual process.
‘‘The only model we can talk about is FJ Cruiser, which will be launched in March next year.’’
The update on the Yaris will bring a six-speed automatic gearbox and probably a 1.5-litre starter engine, with a hybrid model also on the cards.
The Camry will be completely new and much bolder than the current car — and will continue to be built at Altona. It will feature a hybrid model.
The other crucial model is the next Corolla, set for sales in 2012. Toyota extended the life of the current model so the next change is likely to be big.
Giant on the move: the FJ Cruiser, a new Yaris and a new RAV4 are on the way at Toyota.