Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) has confirmed two important details in an announcement today – its first sub-4m SUV would be called the Toyota Urban Cruiser and the car would launch this festive season.
Though Toyota uses words like “all new” and “unique offering” in the press release announcing the Urban Cruiser, it is hard to fall for such claims as it is well-acknowledged that the Toyota mini SUV is a rehashed Maruti Vitara Brezza. The teaser which the company released today (the version attached to the story has increased exposure setting) reveals that the company has tweaked the grille of the car as it did with the Glanza. The horizontal slats replace the Brezza’s chrome bar design. Likewise, the wheel design and the bumper don’t look to hold unique touches.
Naveen Soni, Senior Vice President, Sales and Services, TKM, says Toyota expects to welcome many first customers to the brand with the Urban Cruiser, and that new details would be shared in the coming days. We hear from dealers that the company could open bookings later this month and make the car available as early as late-September.
Toyota Urban Cruiser exterior & interior
The first car from the partnership, Toyota Glanza, has been well received by customers and the company had sold over 25,000 units in the first year. Like the Glanza which didn’t see significant visual changes from the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, the Urban Cruiser gets a different grille but the same bumper design. The interior could come in a lighter shade with special graphics.
Toyota Urban Cruiser – mild-hybrid engine
While Maruti Suzuki sells the Brezza in two versions – 1.5-litre petrol engine with 5-speed manual transmission and 4-speed automatic transmission, only automatic variants get the SHVS mild-hybrid system. TKM, it is reported, will make the mild-hybrid system available to both the manual and automatic versions of Urban Cruiser. There won’t be changes to the power or torque outputs, and the engine will continue to make 77 kW of power and 138 Nm of torque. Understandably the availability of the manual transmission with the hybrid system will result in better fuel economy figures than the current 17.03 km/litre whereas the automatic transmission variants will continue to offer the same mileage of 18.76 km/litre. The SHVS adds functions such as idle start-stop, torque assist and brake energy regeneration to provide better acceleration and lower fuel efficiency.
The differentiation from the Vitara Brezza would be on the aspect of price and warranty of the Urban Cruiser. Like the Glanza, we expect Toyota to lure customers with an extended warranty, more features and better pricing. The Toyota Urban Cruiser price, we estimate, would range in the INR 9-11 lakh (ex-showroom) bracket.
Toyota is focusing on introducing more crossover-SUV models with hybrid technology globally. It recently unveiled the Corolla Cross intended for Asia, the Harrier for Japan, while it will be launching the Yaris Cross in Japan this August.