Toyota is on a product blitz today.
Our man Chris is in Texas today, learning more about what the automaker has planned, and while he
eats all the shrimp talks to brand folks about it, I’ll give you the newsier skinny.
Let’s start with the big one — the Corolla Cross. Sharing a platform with the venerable compact sedan, it’s a compact crossover SUV with more conventional styling than the C-HR and it will offer front-wheel or all-wheel drive. There appears to be just one available engine: A 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 169 horsepower. Getting that power to ground will be a continuously-variable automatic transmission. Yeah, we know, we know.
There will be three trim levels: L, LE, and XLE. Available features will include dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, a power liftgate, 8-inch infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, USB ports, wireless cell-phone charging, satellite radio, JBL audio, blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking assist with automatic braking, and a power moonroof.
Toyota has given AWD models a fully independent suspension, with a torsion-beam rear setup for FWD models. The brand claims up to 1,500 pounds of towing capacity.
A Dynamic Torque Control system can send up to half the power to the rear wheels when needed and completely disengage if the power isn’t needed back there.
Estimated fuel economy is listed at 32 mpg combined for the FWD model and 30 for AWD.
Toyota will probably never, ever say it out loud, but the Corolla Cross seems to be an acknowledgment that the C-HR, which apparently will NOT be heading to the gallows, is too wildly styled for the masses and something more conventional-looking needs to be on offer.
The Corolla Cross — which we’ve already taken to calling the RollaX internally — isn’t the only product unveiled today in Texas. A concept battery-electric SUV dubbed the bZ4X BEV Concept (yep, that lower-case “b” isn’t a typo and boy doesn’t that name just roll off the tongue) shows the brand’s commitment to electrification, which in this case will continue with a stated new 15 BEVs globally by 2025, and 70 global models that offer some form of electrification by that year. As per usual with these claims, we’re curious to see if the target actually gets met. Note the use of “electrification” instead of “electric” — an “electrified” vehicle can be something like a mild hybrid, and not necessarily a full EV.
The RAV4-sized concept has an all-wheel-drive system that Toyota calls “new” without going into detail, at least for now. We should know more later this year. It does appear that a production version is targeted for sale in 2022.
Moving away from concepts back to production vehicles, it was inevitable that when Subaru re-did the BRZ, the GR86, which shares that car’s bones, would follow. And so it is.
The changes include Gazoo racing badging, more torque peaking at a lower RPM, more horsepower, a more-rigid body, a new interior, and a membership in the National Auto Sport Association that includes a high-performance driving experience.
The 2.4-liter “flat” four (Toyota shan’t dare call it a “boxer”) jumps from 205 to 228 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque to 184 lb-ft. Still no turbo. Drivers still get to choose between a six-speed manual and automatic transmission.
There will be two trims, with the top trim adding a spoiler. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, and an eight-speaker sound system are among the available features.
OK, it’s time for me to take a break and …. damn it, there’s more! Other new Toyota product unveiled today includes a Tacoma Trail Edition, only available on 4×4 models, that lifts the front 1.1 inches and the rear half an inch, adds storage and a cooler and adds unique wheels and grille.
OK, surely I can stop now and get a cup of coff — son of a bitch! I’ve just been informed there’s also a new Tacoma TRD Pro that has the same 0.5 inch rear lift as the Trail Edition to go along with a 1.5-inch front lift. Forged aluminum upper control arms provide more rebound stroke, and there are new wheels here, too. Along with different styling accents and FOX internal bypass shocks. And a TRD-tuned cat-back exhaust.
Man, that’s a lot of news from just one event. One I am not even at! OK, surely I’m done and can fire up my coffee maker — aw, crap! There’s also a special-edition Supra dubbed A91-CF. Only 600 units will be built, and it will have a carbon-fiber body kit, duckbill spoiler, unique 19-inch wheels, unique interior, and the same free driving-association membership offered to GR86 buyers, including the same HPDE.
That’s it. No more! Nap time.