Toyota bosses are considering building a rival for the Nissan Juke, using a decade-old concept as inspiration. The Toyota RSC — Rugged Sports Coupé — was designed by Toyota’s California-based CALTY design studio and made its debut at the 2001 Chicago motor show.
Although nothing came of the RSC, Autocar understands that it has recently been reassessed, mainly because of the global success of the Nissan Juke, which is remarkably similar in concept to the RSC.
No decision has yet been made about giving the RSC a green light for production, but Toyota bosses would either use the Yaris platform, which would create a direct rival for the Nissan, or the new Auris platform, which would overcome the cramped rear cabin that hampers the Juke. Both of these platforms would also offer the option of a hybrid, which would be popular in the vital Californian market.
The RSC’s mix of compact off-roader and sports car reflected a significant trend at the end of 1990s, which is still being explored. Under Brit Simon Cox, Isuzu’s UK-based concept studio came up with the VX-2 off-road coupé as far back as 1998, and in late 2011 Volkswagen showed the Golf-based Cross Coupé concept.