Toyota is planning a two-way onslaught with the Innova brand with the model not only bringing the next generation version of its popular MPV but also retaining the current generation version of the same. Toyota has big plans for the next-generation Innova that’s expected to arrive in Diwali this year and the MPV will get radical changes that will include a monocoque architecture as well as the adoption of only a petrol engine. Yes, Toyota plans to sell the next-generation Innova in only the petrol avatar, which is why it will retain the current Innova Crysta in the petrol and diesel engine options. Read on to know what this dual Innova strategy will look like.
To begin with, odds are high that the new generation Toyota Innova could be christened as the Innova Hycross. The automaker recently trademarked the name in India and it could be used for the upcoming offering. The new Innova Hycross will be based on the TNGA-C platform that also underpins the Corolla (Altis) internationally, and will be a monocoque platform with power going to the front wheels. Those are massive changes to the Innova given its ladder-on-frame and rear-wheel drive lineage but it also promises a more car-like driving dynamics. The new version will reportedly be about 170 kg lighter as well.
The new Toyota Innova will also borrow heavily from the 670B sold in Japan as well as other Japan-specific MPVs like the Toyota Voxy and Noah. The model will also be slightly shorter in length over the Crysta measuring about 4.7 metres but is expected to sport a longer wheelbase at 2850mm. That means better cabin room, especially at the rear.
Internally codenamed 560B, the new Innova will also be a petrol-only model, a petrol-hybrid to be specific. Reports suggest that Toyota India will heavily localise a 2.0-litre petrol hybrid engine to power the Innova, which would also explain the ‘Hycross’ suffix. This new engine will get the updated Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II), which promises lower running costs than a diesel. It will also be lighter and more fuel efficient, without having to compromise on power and torque delivery. This should make it more appealing to private buyers over the Crysta, especially those considering the Hyundai Alcazar, Kia Carens and the Maruti Suzuki XL6 at the moment.
However, for customers who still like diesels, especially the reliable 2.4-litre unit, the Innova Crysta will continue to be a choice in the market. The product, to be fair, is still very young in its lifecycle and Toyota could easily keep it fresh for a tonne of buyers who like the low-end torque, supreme hauling capability, and excellent comfort that the car has to provide. There is a possibility that the automaker may drop the petrol engine on the Innova Crysta given its a low-selling unit anyway. Don’t forget that the Innova Crysta still remains extremely popular in the fleet segment with that diesel motor, despite its high price but that’s not deterred buyers from upgrading from old Innovas to new ones. The Innova Crysta also shares its underpinnings with the Fortuner and both models share the assembly line as well. So discontinuing this one would make it less viable to produce the Fortuner in India on its own.
Coming back to the new-generation, expect it to be loaded with the latest tech while rumours are life that Toyota will add lazy-boy seats in the second row to give customers the ultimate lounge experience. This perhaps will be the automaker’s way of tackling those Kia Carnival buyers. Meanwhile, the Innova Crysta could see some of its features being skimped to further create a differentiation between the two models. Rumours also suggest that the Crysta is being readied for a second facelift that will bring the overall design on par with the rest of Toyota’s line-up.