9 December 2004

Toyota’s all-new Yaris has grown up – just in time for the arrival of the company’s new city car, the Aygo. These shots show the replacement for Toyota’s French-built supermini, which rolls out in Japan in January. It will not be shown in Europe until September’s Frankfurt Motor Show, with cars arriving in UK showrooms in early 2006.

This new design – badged Vitz in Japan – combines styling cues from the original with hints of Corolla and a more substantial appearance. An increase in wheelbase from 2.3 to 2.6m creates greater space in the rear of the cabin. Toyota insiders say the compact dimensions of the current Yaris made it look smaller than it was. Like its predecessor, the new Yaris has a centrally-mounted instrument pod (right), but the quality of interior plastics has been much improved. A ‘cheap-looking’ interior was one of the few areas criticised by owners of the current car. The engine line-up is mostly unchanged, and all units now meet Euro 4 emission regulations, though the arrival of the Aygo city car means the 1.0-litre version may be dropped. A new 1.4-litre diesel engine will be borrowed from the Corolla. A replacement for the oddball Verso mini-MPV has been ruled out, although a hot T-Sport version is still likely for the UK.

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