Recently, a Toyota Yaris hatchback was seen plying on Delhi roads with a red, Karnataka registration number plate and full camouflage. The Yaris is almost 4 metres long, which makes it suitable to compete in the premium hatchback space with cars like the Maruti Suzuki Nexa Baleno, Hyundai i20 and Tata Altroz.
To meet the small-car norms and enjoy the lower tax rates, the car will need to come with Toyota’s 1.0-litre 3-cylinder engine, which is available in certain countries. This engine makes 72PS of power at 6000rpm and 93Nm of torque at 4400rpm. The only transmission option with this engine is a 5-speed manual.
Toyota currently has a presence in the premium hatchback space with the Glanza. However, this is not a Toyota car at its core. The Glanza is a rebadged Maruti Suzuki Baleno. Toyota may have plans to launch their own car and save on loyalties. The Glanza may have been a stop-gap solution to gain some market share while they prepare their own rival.
The Yaris hatch is also available with a larger 1.5-litre petrol engine in the normal and hybrid format. This engine gets the option of a 6-speed manual and a CVT automatic transmission. Even if the car goes on sale in India, we shouldn’t expect to see this engine as higher taxes alone will shoot up the ex-showroom price of the car with 1.5L.