Toyota to build upcoming three-row SUV at brand's new third plant

The upcoming SUV will be a longer version of the Corolla Cross sold overseas.

By Saptarshi Mondal, Autocar India calendar 29 Sep 2023 Views icon1296 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Toyota to build upcoming three-row SUV at brand's new third plant

Toyota is reportedly looking to build a third car plant in India that will increase its annual production capacity to 5 lakh units, up about 30 percent from the current 4 lakh units, according to a Reuters report. This new plant will have an annual production capacity of 80,000-1,20,000 units that's scalable up to about 2 lakh units. The existing plants are situated at Bidadi, Karnataka, and the third one is also reportedly being planned at the same site.

The new plant will be the primary production base for an upcoming three-row SUV, which, as we've reported before, will be a longer version of the Corolla Cross sold overseas. It's codenamed the 340D and Toyota is expected to produce 60,000 units annually with a launch likely by 2026.

Toyota Corolla Cross-based SUV: what do we know so far?
Having found success with its recent spate of shared models with Maruti, Toyota is looking to expand its SUV portfolio in India with a model to rival the likes of the Hyundai Alcazar and Tata Safari. This will also help address the gap in Toyota’s portfolio that exists between the Hyryder and the Innova Hycross.

The Corolla Cross-based SUV for India will be underpinned by Toyota’s TNGA-C platform which is also used by the Innova Hycross. Globally, the Corolla Cross has a wheelbase of 2,640mm, but the India-spec version will likely be lengthened by about 150mm, enough to add a third row of seats. The new SUV will have longer rear doors to allow easy access to the third row, and will also have redesigned C- and D-pillars.

Not much is known on the styling front, but Toyota could choose to differentiate it from the Corolla Cross with a new nose and new soft parts, including a plastic bumper, grille and headlights.

Toyota Corolla Cross-based SUV: powertrain options
While the Corolla Cross is sold with a 1.8-litre petrol engine overseas, expect this larger and heavier version to use the same set of engines as the Innova Hycross. That means it could be powered by the 173hp, 2.0-litre, naturally aspirated petrol engine as well as the 2.0-litre strong-hybrid powertrain with 184hp and a healthy 206Nm from the electric motor. The strong hybrid system, in fact, is what should give this SUV an efficiency advantage over its rivals, diesels included.

The upcoming 340D SUV, however, will not be specific to India, and is likely to be exported to other markets as well, although it's not known if it will spawn a Maruti derivative. Do note that this will also be completely unrelated to the upcoming three-row Maruti Grand Vitara that will be based on a Maruti platform and produced at its upcoming plant in Kharkhoda, Haryana.

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