Fantastically named Tank is a 3.7m long MPV

Fantastically named Tank is a 3.7m long MPV

After three features which respectively encompassed in-depth examinations of the latest and future generation Daihatsu and Lexus and vehicles, the next instalment in the series on Toyota Motor Corporation looked at the Toyota brand's small and compact models. Now, it's D, E and F segment cars as well as MPVs and fuel cell models.

D, E & F segments

The JPN Taxi will soon be going on sale in Toyota's home market where it will replace the long-lived Comfort and Crown Comfort sedans.

This special vehicle was first seen as the JPN Taxi concept at the 2013 Tokyo motor show. A second JPN Taxi concept was revealed at October 2015's show. The production model was a world debut at the recent 2017 show. The engine in this front-wheel drive vehicle is Toyota's 1NZ-FXP 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit, which is a CNG-hybrid.

Toyota is expected to export the new model to markets where the Comfort and Crown Comfort sold well as taxis, such as Hong Kong. It will be long-lived and likely to remain in production until around 2030.

The third generation of the Avensis, Toyota Motor Europe's Passat rival, is available as a sedan and a wagon. It had its world premiere at the Paris motor show in October 2008. Although TME said at launch that the car used a new platform, it is in fact a rebodied version of the second generation model.

There were originally 1.6-, 1.8- and 2.0-litre petrol engines, plus 2.0- and 2.2-litre diesels. Production started in November 2008 and sales across Europe commenced two months later. TMUK began Avensis exports (wagon only) to Japan in July 2011.

The Avensis successor was delayed several times as TME reportedly tried to decide whether or not to replace it. Instead of a new car, the third generation model was given another update. Its debut was at the Geneva motor show in March 2015. BMW supplies the latest cars' diesel engines. Both 1.6- and 2.0-litre units are available.

Production of the facelifted Avensis commenced in June 2015, with the first cars delivered later the same month. The Avensis is built on the same line at Burnaston as the Auris. According to a interview in July 2015, Toyota builds some 35,000 units of the Avensis per annum at Burnaston. This makes it unlikely that the car will be directly replaced.

Toyota Motor Europe told the media in March 2017 that it intended to spend £240m at the Burnaston plant in England, converting this facility to produce TGNA vehicles. The models in question were not named. Avensis build will likely cease during 2018. Already, certain EU markets have stopped selling the sedan, importing only the estate.

The ninth generation Camry, 010B, uses the GA-K version of TNGA (Toyota New Generation Architecture). Although it is thought of as a North American model, it first went on sale first in Japan during July (as a hybrid) followed soon after by the USA, Canada, Mexico, Russia and other markets. The car itself had its world premiere at the Detroit auto show in January 2017.

The new model was the first Toyota to feature the 2.5-litre engine which TMC announced to the media in December 2016. There is also a 3.5-litre V6. This is especially interesting given that Honda developed its rival latest generation Accord (also new for North America's 2018 model year) without a V6 option. Roughly 10 per cent of Toyota Motor Sales USA's Camry buyers opt for the six-cylinder engine.

Speaking at the 2017 auto show, Bob Carter, TMS USA's senior vice president for automotive operations, said he didn't see the Camry hitting 400,000 sales this year but likely about the same level as 2016 (388,616). That was the first time since 2011 that the US' best selling car didn't reach the 400,000 mark. The Camry's highpoint was 2006, when total deliveries numbered 448,445. 

Georgetown commenced series production of the Camry 9 in June. TMMK (Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.) is Toyota's largest manufacturing plant in its worldwide network. The site has an annual capacity of 550,000 vehicles and 600,000 engines.

The new Camry is due for a facelift in 2020, and the tenth generation Camry should premiere at the 2023 Detroit auto show, going on sale for the 2024 model year. The car should use an update of GA-K and may also be available as an EV.

As for the Camry Hybrid (Camry HEV in China), the powertrain is a 2,487cc four-cylinder Atkinson Cycle engine mated to a CVT. TMC calls the four-cylinder unit its A25A-FXS 2.5-liter Dynamic Force Engine. Maximum combined power of the engine and motor is 155kW (211hp).

Production commenced at Tsutsumi in Japan in June. The car went on sale in Toyota's home market during the following month. Due to poor sales of the previous model in the local market, Toyota's Indian joint venture seems unlikely to produce the latest model at its plant in Bangalore. Cars will, however, be made in Thailand, Taiwan and China. Production is already underway not only in Japan but also in the US (Georgetown 1, Kentucky).

The Mark X, another large sedan, is sold in Japan and China. The latest generation is now fairly old and overdue for replacement, having first gone on sale in Japan in October 2009. Its Chinese market twin, the Tianjin Toyota-built Reiz, followed in September 2010. The 730L series Mark X is a rebodying of the previous generation model. Both 2.5- and 3.5-litre gasoline V6 engines are available.

Toyota began selling a facelifted Mark X in Japan in August 2012. The China-made model did not have the facelift until September 2013. A new Mark X/Reiz which would use GA-K andf therefore no longer be a RWD/AWD car, is said to be due out in 2018.

The Avalon is based on the old shape Camry. Sold mostly in the USA, it is a rival for the Chevrolet Impala, Chrysler 300 and Ford Taurus. The 170A series car had its global debut at the New York auto show in April 2012, the first model year being 2013.

The car uses an updated version of the platform from the old-shape Avalon. It went on sale in the US, its main market, in December 2012. The Avalon was engineered at Toyota's Ann Arbor technical centre in Michigan, making it the first Toyota vehicle entirely developed in North America.

The next generation 370B Avalon has been developed at the Toyota Technical Centre in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Like the closely related Camry and next Lexus ES, it will be based on GA-K. The new Avalon will likely go on sale in North American markets in early 2018. There may also be a plug-in hybrid variant to replace the current Avalon Hybrid.

The Crown, which has always been an E segment sedan series, is now mainly sold in Japan and China. There are various models too. The fourteenth generation of this luxury sedan range went on sale in Japan in December 2012 and the Crown 15 is due to be launched in 2018.

The Crown Concept which debuted at the Tokyo motor show earlier in October was a preview of the next Crown. The big news is that the prototype was front-wheel drive, as it was claimed to be based on GA-K.

There is also a Crown Hybrid. The current generation went on sale in Japan in January 2013. The car brought with it a new hybrid powertrain.

The 2AR-FSE engine is a 2,493cc four-cylinder petrol engine which produces a claimed 131kW (178PS). The electric motor's output is 105kW (143PS) with torque of 300Nm. The powertrain's combined output is quoted as 162kW (220PS). A new Crown Hybrid should on sale in Japan in late 2018.

Another derivative of this large sedan series is the Crown Majesta. The latest generation of this sedan went on sale in Japan in September 2013. A hybrid, it is powered by the combination of Toyota's 2GR-FXE 215kW 3,456cc V6 petrol engine and a 147kW electric motor. Toyota quotes maximum combined output as 252kW.

Japan's Crown had a facelift in October 2015. The next Crown Majesta should become available in 2019. This will also likely mean that the same car will be sold in Japan and China for the first time rather than an obsolete model being kept in production by FAW Toyota as has been the case.

Toyota announced in June 2009 that it would begin production of a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle by 2015. At the Detroit motor show in January 2010, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. (TMS) announced that "more than 100 Toyota Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle – Advanced (FCHV-adv) vehicles will be placed in a nationwide demonstration program over the next three years".

In December 2002, Toyota began limited testing of Highlander-based fuel cell vehicles in the US and Japan. A total of 20 first generation fuel cell hybrid vehicles (FCHV) were in service in California with universities, corporations and government agencies.

In May 2010, TMS (USA) stated that it would aim to sell its future fuel cell vehicle in the USA for a price of $50,000 in 2015. It followed this up with a statement in November 2010 that plans for a launch 'around' 2015 in Japan, the US and Europe were still on track and that such a 'sedan' would likely cost under Yen10m in Japan.

In January 2013, Toyota and BMW agreed to share their technologies and to jointly develop a fundamental fuel cell vehicle system. This, the companies stated, would include not only a fuel cell stack and system, but also a hydrogen tank, motor and battery, aiming for completion in 2020.

An update of the FCV-R concept from the 2011 Tokyo show was revealed at the Frankfurt motor show in September 2013. A further derivative followed two months later at the 2013 Tokyo motor show.

Toyota's chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada told the media in September 2013 that the fuel cell car programme was on track for a 2015 launch in California, at least. As at then, there were just 10 public refuelling stations in the state. Lawmakers passed a bill during the same month that would use vehicle registration fees to fund the construction of at least 100 public hydrogen fueling stations in the state by 2024. Governor Jerry Brown has since signed the bill.

In June 2014, TMC issued images of the production model to the media, stating that the still unnamed car would be on sale in Japan "before April 2015" and then "summer" for North America and Europe. The home market guide price would be around JPY 7m with distribution via both Toyota and Toyopet sales outlets. The model name turned out to be Mirai, which translates as 'the future'.

The Mirai was revealed to the media at an event in Tokyo in November 2014 and went on sale in Japan the following month. Annual production of this four-seater car is said to be limited to 700 vehicles, though depending on demand, this might rise. In Japan, the vehicle is sold mainly in four metropolitan areas: Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka. These are the regions where hydrogen filling stations exist and where others are being added. While just 30 such stations existed nationwide as at Q4, 2014, the national government raised this to 100 by the end of fiscal 2015. TMC was aiming to sell 400 units of the Mirai in Japan during its first 12 months on the market but in January 2015 the company said it had received orders for 1,500 cars. Production rose to 2,000/annum by the end of 2015 with 3,000/annum by the end of 2017 the next target. As at the end of 2016, Toyota had delivered 2,800 cars worldwide.

The car's drivetrain and certain other components are manufactured at the Honsha plant in Toyota City, but the Mirai is assembled at Motomachi which is close by. This is in the workshop where the Lexus LFA was built.

In October 2015, TMC told the media that it would aim to deliver more than 30,000 fuel cell vehicles annually by around 2020. It also set a goal to reach more than 15 million cumulative deliveries of hybrids by the same period. Having missed its 2020 target for fuel cell cars, Toyota now believes it will take until 2025 for the technology to become relatively mainstream. The company remains extremely keen on the potential for hydrogen-powered cars, a senior manager stating at the 2017 Tokyo motor show that he believes that within eight years, such vehicles will be priced at the same levels as hybrids are today.

The replacement for the Mirai may have been previewed by the Fine-Comfort Ride, a concept which debuted at the recent Tokyo motor show. This vehicle was claimed to have a range of up to 1,000km from its supply of hydrogen, with refuelling taking just three minutes. It also featured airless tyres.

The third generation Century had been expected to have been revealed at the Tokyo show in October 2009 but a company-wide cost-cutting programme reportedly led to the car's launch having been delayed and delayed again. Kanto Auto Works has been building a model called Century for Toyota since 1967. This is the largest and most expensive Toyota sedan.

Kanto Auto revealed a concept version of a proposed replacement for the Century at the Tokyo motor show in December 2011. The FS (Flagship) Hybrid concept was claimed to be powered by the combination of a V8 petrol engine and an electric motor. This proved to be a preview, with the production model debuting at the 2017 Tokyo show.

The just-announced third generation Century is powered by TMC's 2UR-FSE 4,968cc petrol V8 and one motor. The previous model had a V12. This car is a low-volume limousine which is mainly for the Japanese market, although it is likely to also be exported for use by Japan's embassies worldwide.

TMC quotes the Century 3's dimensions as 5,335 × 1,930 × 1,505mm (L x W x H). The wheelbase dimension, 3,090mm, is identical to that of the fourth generation LS 600 hL, suggesting that, as was the case with the second generation Century, Toyota is giving the platform of an obsolete large luxury car a second life as the basis of a new Century.

Toyota might also build a version of the car powered by a fuel cell. The hydrogen-fuelled Century is said to be part of a range of cars which the firm wants to have ready to showcase in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

MPVs & Minivans

The names might seem comical to those outside Japan, but the Tank and Roomy people carriers were developed to keep Toyota at the top of a Japanese market where consumer tastes are changing.

Both these 3.7m long MPVs are supplied by Daihatsu, the firm manufacturing them at one of its Ikeda plants close to company headquarters in Osaka. The Tank and Roomy are in fact the twins of two Daihatsu models, the Thor and Thor Custom. All went on sale in Japan in November 2016.

The Tank and Roomy are restricted to Japan and retailed via the Toyota, Toyota Corolla, Toyopet and Netz dealer networks. TMC said at launch that it was hoping for a combined 7,500 sales a month, while DMC set a target of 1,000 units per month for the Thor and Custom.

Daihatsu developed both its own Sigra and the closely related Toyota Calya crossover-MPVs for certain lower income countries in Asia. Both models were announced to the media in August 2016 and had their public debuts at the Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS) later that month.

These models are 4,070 mm long, 1,655 mm wide and 1,600 mm tall. The vehicle's chassis features MacPherson struts and disc brakes at the front, while the rear has a semi-independent torsion axle beam and drum brakes. There should be facelifts in 2020. The next generation Calya (and Sigra) should be released in 2023 or 2024, being again based on DNGA (Daihatsu New Generation Architecture).

The Sienta is probably the most striking looking of any of Toyota's MPVs. The current generation of this small up to seven-seater minivan was announced in July 2015. The Sienta is sold mainly in Japan through Toyota, Toyopet, Toyota Corolla, and Netz dealers. It is also built and sold in Indonesia.

A facelifted model is due out in 2020. The next generation Sienta will use TNGA-B and should be on sale in 2025.

Toyota Motor Europe's replacement for the Turkish-built Corolla Verso had its world premiere at the Geneva show in March 2009. It went on sale in Turkey and Europe from April 2009.

The Verso, a rival for the VW Touran sold mainly in Europe, is a rebodying of the former Corolla Verso but sits on a longer wheelbase. It is effectively the minivan version of the first generation Auris hatchback range.

A 111bhp (83kW) BMW-sourced diesel, which Toyota brands as the 1.6 D-4D, became available in certain markets from January 2014 production. This was the first unit of a wider technology alliance between Toyota and BMW, under which they agreed to co-develop a fuel cell system, conduct a feasibility study for the joint development of a sports car platform, work together on creating lightweight vehicle body technologies, and undertake joint research into lithium-air batteries.

The Guangzhou Toyota joint venture began building its own version of the Verso in China in March 2011. This followed the premiere of the oddly-named E'Z (Yizhe or Yizhi in Chinese), a slightly restyled Verso, at the Guangzhou motor show in December 2010. This is manufactured at the Guangzhou Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. (GTMC) plant.

As the segment in which this model competes has shrunk so much, the Verso is unlikely to be replaced, at least not for Europe.

Another minivan which is about the same size as the Verso is the second generation Wish. It is a model which is mostly sold in Japan and certain other countries in Asia. The previous version of this seven-seater minivan series sold more than 500,000 units over a 75-month lifecycle. The current model, 760N, is now fairly aged, having premiered in Japan in April 2009. It is built at Tahara in Japan as well as in Thailand and Taiwan.

The next Wish, due for launch in 2018, is said to be codenamed 552A.

Another compact minivan for some markets in Asia is the 4,715mm long Innova, also known as the Kijang Innova or Innova Crysta. The current model went on sale in its first market, Indonesia, in November 2015. India's locally made model had its world premiere at February 2016's Delhi Auto Expo, entering production in the country soon after. There, it is sold as the Innova Crysta. Assembly in The Philippines and Taiwan was also added in 2016.

The life cycle for this model should be long and there will likely be two facelifts. These should be in 2019 and 2023. The next generation model should be released in 2026 or 2027. The current one uses GA-K as its basis but the successor will probably have either an evolution of this or else a fresh platform.

The Avanza, a tall seven-seater with 1.0- or 1.3-litre engines, is for lower income markets. It went on sale in Indonesia, the first country where it was built, in July 2004, with assembly by Perodua in Malaysia then commencing in October 2004. Toyota added 1.5-litre versions in October 2006. 

Its sole North American market is Mexico: Indonesian-built versions are shipped there. Exports to the Middle East commenced in June 2014.

The Daihatsu Xenia VVT-i/D-01 is more or less the same vehicle as the Toyota Avanza, as is the FAW Xenia S80. Facelifted versions of both these models premiered at the Jakarta motor show in August 2015. The pricier Veloz model was also facelifted.

The Avanza and Veloz replacements are expected to appear in 2018. Toyota may also build the next generation Avanza in India, giving the vehicle a diesel engine too.

The current, third generation of the Noah and Voxy minivan/MPV twins went on sale in Japan in January 2014. Both models had been seen for the first time at November 2013's Tokyo motor show. Japan is these models' main market, with the Voxy sold through Netz dealers and the Noah retailed via the Toyota Corolla sales channel. Both are manufactured at Toyota Auto Body's Fujimatsu plant.

All variants are powered by TMC's 3ZR-FAE 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. Both front- and all-wheel drive versions are sold in the domestic market, in up to eight-seater formats. The Nissan Serena is one of these models' main rivals.

A facelifted Voxy premiered at the Jakarta motor show in August 2017. The model is an import to the Indonesian market. The replacements are due out in Japan in early 2021. They should use an updated version of (TN)GA-K, although perhaps TMC's planned cuts to its enormous home market line-up might see one of these vehicles axed.

The Noah Hybrid and Voxy Hybrid became available in Japan, their first market, in February 2014. They are powered by the combination of Toyota's 73kW (99PS) 1,797cc 2ZR-FXE four-cylinder engine and a 60kW 5JM electric motor. TMC quotes total output as 100kW using both engine and motor. The hybrid system's nickel-metal hydride battery is mounted below the front seat. The next Noah Hybrid and Voxy Hybrid might be culled to just one model, as could well be the case with the future Noah and Voxy. The expected on sale date is March 2021.

The 907L Estima is a large minivan. The current shape model was introduced at the Taipai show in December 2005. It went on sale in Japan in January 2006. In China, Taiwan, New Zealand and elsewhere, the vehicle is badged 'Previa' and in Australia, one of its largest markets, 'Tarago'.

This long-lived model had its most recent facelift in June 2016. Toyota Auto Body should again manufacture the next Estima at its Inabe plant in Japan. The architecture is expected to be GA-K.

The second generation Estima Hybrid is one of the oldest models which Toyota sells. It went on sale in Japan in June 2006. The powertrain is an updated version of the former model's 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine/electric motor drive system. There was a facelift in January 2009 and another in June 2016. The successor is now expected in early 2019.

Two of Toyota's most striking models are large MPVs. The company announced the third generation Alphard, and its closely related rival, the Vellfire, in January 2015. Unlike the previous generation models, the hybrid variants were also launched at the same time. The company said at launch that the Alphard's styling "emphasizes luxury, while the Vellfire exterior emphasizes boldness".

These models were introduced with what was claimed to be a world-first Panoramic View Monitor with See-through View. This gives a driver's-perspective view of the vehicle's surroundings as if the vehicle itself were transparent.

Both seven- and eight-seater variants are available. The 2.5-litre petrol engine is codenamed 2AR-FE and has a standard seven-speed CVT. The Alphard hybrid and Vellfire Hybrid are powered by the 2AR-FXE 2.5-litre Atkinson Cycle petrol engine linked to a six-speed  CVT and electric all-wheel drive. There is also a 2GR-FE 3.5-litre petrol V6.

TMC stated at the vehicles' launch in Japan that it expected the Alphard to sell at the rate of 3,000 units/month and 4,000 for the Vellfire. The former is sold through the Toyopet sales channel, while Netz dealers sell the Vellfire.

Toyota also sells the Alphard fairly successfully in China as an import. Facelifts for all four models should be out by mid-2018. TMC will probably only replace either the Alphard or Vellfire so as to cut costs at home. The next model is due in 2021 or 2022.

The second generation of the Proace and Proace Verso were announced by TME (Toyota Motor Europe) and PSA in December 2015. It is part of a three vehicle joint venture, the other two models being the Citroen SpaceTourer and the Peugeot Traveller. All are manufactured at the *SEVEL nord plant in the French town of Lieu-Saint-Amand/Hordain which is close to Valenciennes where Toyota has a car plant.

PSA and TME revealed all three models at the Geneva motor show in March 2016. Each is available as an MPV for private buyers and as a Shuttle for business users. Up to nine occupants can be carried. The Proace, SpaceTourer and Traveller share powertrains and a platform. They went on sale across Europe in mid-2016.

The three vans & minivans were the first vehicles for a modified version of PSA's EMP2 architecture. This has the front part of that platform but the rest was developed especially for the SpaceTourer, Proace and Traveller. Different front and rear axles mean that loads of up to 1,400kg can be carried by LCV variants. The platform's modular design allows for two wheelbases (2.92m and 3.27m) as well as two rear overhangs (0.80m and 1.15m). The combination allows for 3 body lengths: XS at 4.60m (a claimed first in the segment) with the shorter wheelbase. Then there is the M at 4.95m and XL at 5.30m with the longer wheelbase.

The LCV versions of the Traveller, SpaceTourer and Proace Verso are the Peugeot Expert, Citroën Jumpy and Toyota Proace. Facelifts for all of these models should be on sale across Europe in 2020, with the next Proace Verso due out in 2024. This model will likely again be part of a TME-Groupe PSA alliance.

*Société Européenne de Véhicules Légers du Nord

Production of the third generation generation Sienna, a big seven- or eight-seater minivan sold mostly in North America, started in Indiana in January 2010. Its world premiere was at the Los Angeles auto show in December 2009.

As TMS has been extending the lifecycles of its US-built models, 580L, the current Sienna, is likely to be made at Princeton until the end of 2019. The second generation model had a near seven-year run by the time production ended in November 2009 but the current model will probably be made for almost a full decade.

The Sienna, new for North America's 2011 model year, was launched in February 2010 with the choice of 2.7-litre four-cylinder and 3.5-litre V6 engines. A six-speed auto was standard for each. The four-cylinder engine gave the Sienna something of an advantage over its main rivals but it did not sell well and so, it was discontinued at the end of the 2012 model year. The availability of all-wheel drive remains something which still sets this full size minivan apart. Neither of its main rivals, the Chrysler Pacifica, nor the Honda Odyssey, has AWD.

North America's 2014 model Sienna was carried over, though a 3,500lbs. towing capacity pack was made standard. The 2015 model year Sienna, announced in July 2014, was a facelifted model. There were only minor changes for the 2016 model year. For the 2017 model year, the 3.5-litre V6 gained 30hp and there was a new eight-speed automatic transmission.

Toyota had at one time been expected to replace the Sienna for the 2018 model year but instead, there is a facelift. The updated model premiered at the New York auto show in April 2017.

Sienna generation four has the development code of 580X. The next model will again be aimed mainly at markets in North America. As such, the Sienna's chief engineer is based in the US, not Japan. The same applies for the Avalon, Tacoma and Tundra: all were developed at the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The next Sienna should again be built at the Princeton, Indiana plant and its architecture will almost certainly be GA-K. Production should commence in early 2020.

Future model plan reports for other manufacturers can be viewed in the OEM product strategy summaries section of

Future product program intelligence

Additional data on vehicle lifetime and future product plans, such as code names, production plants and expected annual build, are available in PLDB from QUBE.