The Toyota Aygo has been reborn as a rugged compact crossover designed to "reinvent the A-segment".
Previewed by the Aygo X Prologue concept ahead of an expected market launch before mid-2022, the successor to the hugely successful city car has been designed, Toyota says, to "prove that cars traditionally referred to as an entry point can still deliver standout design".
Despite the raised ride height, 19in wheels and heavily flared arches (aspects that will likely be toned down for the production car), the influence of the existing Aygo is clear in its upright rear light clusters, glass bootlid, two-tone paint scheme and wheels pushed right out to the corners.
Off-road-inspired design cues include contrasting skidplates at the front and rear, chunky raised roof rails and distinctive hexagonal foglights. Uniquely, the concept also features "action cameras" mounted in its door mirrors for "capturing and sharing special moments of exploration," while a pop-out bike holder is integrated into the rear bumper.
The Aygo X remains smaller than the Yaris supermini, with which it shares its GA-B platform, in terms of footprint: it's 3700mm long and has a 2430mm wheelbase. At 1500mm tall, however, it's about the same height as its sibling. For reference, the current Aygo is 3465mm long, 1460mm tall and has a wheelbase of 2340mm.
Toyota previously confirmed that the production version of the Aygo X will exclusively use internal combustion engines in line with its accessible billing. Specifications remain unconfirmed, but the Yaris's entry-level 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine is a likely candidate, and the Aygo X will likely be available with either a five-speed manual or CVT automatic gearbox.
Ian Cartabiano, president of Toyota's European Design Centre in Nice, France, said: "Reimagining the A-segment means offering something new to the customer, and I love that [the Aygo X] has some of those crossover cues but looks more fun to drive and is definitely more on the urban side.
"The great side effect of the bigger wheel and tyre package - and the new platform - is that the higher hip point makes getting in and out quick and easy; it increases visibility, which is great for urban environments and country roads; and loading into the hatch is at a more natural height."
Cartabiano added that although the Aygo X is positioned "more as a crossover," he sees it as "a lifted hot hatch with some great usability and versatility". However, Toyota has yet to give any indication that the Aygo X will receive a hot GR-badged range-topper, as with the Yaris.