Toyota’s five-step path to a brighter future
1 Make more powerful hybrids
If you thought Toyota had been going big on hybrids, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Half their passenger car range has a hybrid powertrain variant and more than 40 per cent of Toyotas sold in Europe are hybrids. The familiar 1.8 is being joined by a more powerful 2.0-litre option in the new Auris.
2 Shun diesel
Toyota’s investment in hybrids looks spookily prescient, allowing them to ditch diesel from their cars by the end of the year. The fuel accounts for just six per cent of UK sales from just two models, the outgoing Auris and anonymous Verso MPV. Vans, the Hilux pick-up, and Land Cruiser remain diesel-powered for now.
3 Go wild with the style
The next Auris and RAV4, like the current C-HR, may not be to everyone’s taste, but Toyota’s designers are turning heads not just with marginal models but with mainstream big sellers.
4 Breathe new life into the legend
We’re expecting a Supra with substance. Developed with BMW, the rear-wheel-drive coupé will be offered with four-pot and straight-six engines. It’s not badge-engineered like the GT86 and its Subaru BRZ twin; Z4 is a roadster, Supra is coupé-only and hardcore. ‘There are only about eight common parts,’ claims a source.
5 Go racing
The motor sport team has been taking on the Dakar, the World Rally Championship, and the World Endurance Championship, with Fernando Alonso among the driver line-up at Le Mans. And there’s now a direct road car link; the hot Yaris GRMN.