Fleet News

Toyota in flurry of model and engine launch activity

TOYOTA is launching five new cars and two new engines - a direct injection petrol and common rail diesel - within the next 12 months. Two of the new cars are known - the supermini Yaris and the 'baby' Lexus IS200 - while the other three are believed to bear a close relation to concept cars shown at recent international motor shows.

While remaining tight-lipped on which cars would make it into production, Toyota has hinted that a replacement MR2 sports car is close, alongside a new people-carrier. The third vehicle is likely to be an off-roader. In addition, the company's upper medium contender, the Avensis, will soon offer customers a choice of direct injection petrol or common rail diesel technology as Toyota seeks to regain its reputation for frugal fuel efficiency which it cemented with its leanburn engines.

Juan Jose Diaz Ruiz, executive vice-president of Toyota Motor Europe Marketing and Engineering, said the Toyota range would also see one model facelifted later this year. The breadth of Toyota's vehicle range will lead the company to specialise in three product streams: 'fun and comfort' cars, which will cover everything from the Yaris to the Camry; 'sport and leisure' for sports cars, off-roaders and 4x4s, plus commercial vehicles.

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