Toyota has confirmed the name of an upcoming small SUV that is slated to hit the market in November. It’s called Aygo X (pronounced ‘cross’, according to Toyota) and is being used as a bigger alternative to the Volkswagen Up! and Hyundai i10 city cars.
It will replace the Aygo hatchback as the cheapest model in Toyota’s lineup, in a move that reflects the insatiable demand for crossovers in the market. It will also be a curiosity as few other manufacturers, with the exception of Daihatsu and Suzuki, have dared to launch a European A-segment SUV.
The Aygo X is based on the same GA-B platform as the new Yaris hatchback and the Yaris Cross SUV. Given the market it occupies, we expect the new car to focus on affordability, so it will almost certainly be powered by a traditional three-cylinder gasoline engine.
Dodging the hybrid drive at the entry-level level should keep the price of the car roughly on par with the existing Aygo hatchback, starting at around £ 13,500. However, a version of Toyota’s hybrid system could also be available for more expensive versions of the Aygo X.
Toyota’s teaser image reveals little about the car’s styling, but our spy photographers have been keeping a close eye on the SUV’s development program, shooting prototypes as they appear.
Aygo X Prologue concept vehicle
Recently, Toyota also unveiled the Aygo X Prologue. It’s a concept designed to present “a new vision for the A-segment” – and while the company has never officially confirmed that the concept was a preview of production of the Aygo X, our spy footage suggests it that the Aygo X prologue is a close representation of what we’ll soon see on the streets.
The Aygo X prologue is a little longer and higher than the current Aygo at 3,700 mm and 1,500 mm respectively. Its wheelbase is also extended by a useful 90 mm to 2,340 mm, which may create additional space in the cabin.
The overall look is funky and slightly more aggressive than the current Aygo – a reflection of the Toyota design team’s view that the trend in the city car market has been to make designs too “cute”.
“We used the word ‘spice’ during development,” said Ian Cartabiano, director of the ED2 design facility in France, where the concept was created. Getting that attitude into an A segment car is really cool. When you see this car you smile; you could grin. “
However, our spy footage shows that some of the concept’s design features are being toned down for the production model. The massively flared wheel arches will shrink, as will the huge 19-inch alloy wheels (which are a full four inches larger than those of the current car).
The profile, meanwhile, is dominated by the contrasting color that wraps around the base of the rear doors, showing the manufacturing processes and the places where metal doors are surrounded by plastic bumpers. The roof rails, which are flush with the top of the taillights, help emphasize the height of the vehicle while adding another subtle SUV reference.
Some older Aygo parts and panels are taken over for the finished Aygo X based on our spy footage. The rear bumper and taillights of our spy mule are identical to those of the current car, which should help keep development costs to a minimum and help Toyota get the most profit.
Despite some reliance on the current Aygo parts bin for its exterior, relocating the new car to Toyota’s latest GA-B platform could bring with it an entirely new interior. Expect the Yaris switchgear to pop up above the new looking cabin, swapping out the old car’s simple center stack for a neater center console with a floating touchscreen system.
The biggest difference that existing Aygo owners might notice could be the “H-spot” of the X-Prologue or the height of the hips of the passengers in the seats. It is higher than in the current car – roughly equivalent to the position in the new small SUV Toyota Yaris Cross.
Cartabiano says this brings a number of benefits. “The higher hip point makes it easier to get in and out,” he says. “It improves visibility, so it’s great for parking in urban areas and when driving on country roads. It is also better to load items in the tailgate, as raising the floor for arm’s length is more natural. “
The next Aygo will be built in Kolin, Czech Republic, the same plant where the existing model was produced alongside its sister vehicles Peugeot 108 and Citroen C1.
The French cars are going out of production and Toyota has taken full control of the factory and invested more than £ 130 million to prepare it for the new GA-B platform. This work is likely to take several months, however, so we shouldn’t expect the Aygo X to hit UK roads until the first half of 2022 at the earliest.
Now click here to read our review of Toyota’s other new SUV – the Yaris Cross …