In a blitz of new offerings coming, Toyota is aiming to retain its top sales spot after facing the worst two-year stint in its recent history, littered with recalls, runaways, earthquakes, and financial disasters. By the end of next year, Toyota will have 10 new products rolling into showrooms, from a new Yaris subcompact to the all-new 2012 Toyota Avalon full-size sedan said to be swoopy and sexy like recent Audis and the Jaguar XJ and not a “geezer pleaser.” With a more competitive market than ever, Toyota can’t afford to sit on its laurels. Here’s an outline of the Japanese giant’s future portfolio.
What’s Hot: In addition to the youth-oriented Scion FR-S sports coupe, Toyota is rolling out its own version, still known internally as the FT-86, with a 240-horsepower engine and possible four-door coupe styling. Look for it in two years or so.
What’s Not: The original Toyota Prius and new Prius Plug-In. The aging current-generation Prius will add a plug-in version with 14-mile electric driving range — less than half of what the Chevrolet Volt is able to do. The standard Prius will retain its old-tech nickel-metal hydride batteries while newer competitors move to more efficient lithium-ion.
Yaris: Toyota will introduce the all-new2012 Toyota Yaris subcompact this fall with three- and five-door versions available initially; a sedan will come later.
Prius: A larger hybrid wagon called the Prius V will debut this fall, and a smaller, sportier compact hybrid called the Prius C will hit the market next spring as Toyota’s hybrid value leader.
Camry: Toyota’s biggest launch will happen this year when the 2012 Toyota Camry goes on sale. The biggest upgrade will come from a new, higher quality interior.
RAV4: The redesigned 2012 Toyota RAV4 will take electric propulsion mainstream for the first time in the SUV’s history with power coming from Tesla Motors-sourced propulsion. Toyota will also ditch the powerful V-6 option for four-cylinder engines.
iQ EV: A Toyota-badged version of the Scion iQ will be made specifically for fleet customers, and it will have a 50-mile range.
Corolla: With the new Corolla compact debuting in 2014, Toyota looks to start a trend of redesigning its cars every six years instead of five as it has traditionally done.
Prius Pickup: There is rumor of a Prius pickup truck sharing a common platform with a Scion, but high costs could keep it from coming to market.
Highlander: The Highlander midsize crossover will get a redesign as it moves to the 2012 Camry’s platform.
Tundra: The Tundra full-size pickup will enter its third generation in 2014 with more traditional truck styling.
Tacoma: The Tacoma midsize pickup will get a full nose job and new interior for 2012.
Matrix: The Matrix compact hatchback after its model life runs its course.
Camry Solara: The Camry Solara coupe will not be coming back with the redesigned Camry sedan in 2012
FJ Cruiser: The retro FJ Cruiser SUV will not be coming back for a second generation.
Land Cruiser: The North American Land Cruiser may be merged onto the same platform as the full-size Sequoia SUV when it gets redesigned in a few years, effectively discontinuing it.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)
By Jacob Brown