Toyota Europe’s announcement of the new ProAce medium van makes no mention that it will be bought in from PSA Peugeot Citroen – it’s a rebadge, announced last July, of Peugeot’s Expert and Citroen’s Jumpy (aka Dispatch).
Then again, GM Europe’s Opel/Vauxhall hardly shouts about the new small Fiat van it buys in to sell with the blitz or griffin badges. Other such ‘badge engineering’ is common across the European light commercial industry as Citroen and Peugeot share models and Renault , Nissan and Opel/Vauxhall have a van-making joint venture.
Toyota said the ProAce would expand its line-up in the important light commercial vehicle markets across Europe – it recently axed the larger, Portugal-assembled HiAce.
The Toyota variant will have unique bespoke design details and Toyota branding for the front grille, rear doors, wheels and interior.
The ProAce will be available with a choice of two vehicle lengths, and two heights, giving overall load capacities of 5m3, 6m3 or 7m3 depending on the configuration specified.
The load space can be accessed by a choice of one or two sliding doors at the side, and via a top-hinged tailgate or dual split doors with 270-degree opening at the rear.
Payload is up to 1200kg and towing capacity up to 2000kg.
Panel van, glass van and crew cab specifications will be offered.
Power windows, central door locking with remote control and adjustable steering position will be standard while options will include manual air conditioning, audio system with Bluetooth for hands-free mobile phone operation, cruise control and electrically-operated and heated door mirrors.
Anti-lock braking with electronic brake force distribution and stability controlare also standard with the further option of VSC+, a system engineered to provide extra grip and security in conditions such as heavy rain, ice or snow.
Toyota will offer a range of Euro V diesels: 1.6-litre (90PS/180Nm) with five-speed manual transmission or two-litre (128PS/320Nm and 163PS/340Nm) with six-speed manual.
All have a ‘volt control’ function to manage battery charging by the alternator, thereby reducing load on the engine where possible and improving fuel economy overall.
The ProAce will go on sale in the first quarter of 2013 with first deliveries in the second quarter.