Rumour Alert: Toyota to launch Rush SUV in India?

Toyota is yet to take a stab at the compact SUV segment in India for reasons best known only to it. The Japanese car maker does have a range of compact SUVs that it sells in international car markets, ones that could be good additions to its Indian line up. One such SUV is the Toyota Rush, a rebadged second generation Daihatsu Terios that Toyota sells in South East Asian countries like Indonesia and Malaysia.

Rumoured-ly, Toyota is readying up the Rush SUV for the Indian car market. The rumour adds that testing of this SUV on Indian roads is due to begin shortly with an Auto Expo 2014 unveil being likely. More photos of the Toyota Rush here

The Rush that’s sold in international markets is rear wheel driven. Both 4X2 and 4X4 options are available on this compact SUV, which is available only with a 1.5 liter petrol engine. Petrol engines are serious no-go’s in the Indian market and the Renault Duster’s abysmal sales figures prove this very point. So, if Toyota plans to make any impact in the Indian car market with the Rush, a diesel engine is mandatory. The 1.4 liter D-4D motor, which is used in cars as varied as the Liva hatchback and the Corolla Altis sedan, is likely to be plonked into the Rush’s engine bay, in case this SUV gets the nod for an Indian launch. This engine comes in 2 states of tune.

Considering the Rush’s heft, the 90 Bhp-200 Nm state of tune will be what Toyota should be looking at instead of the 70 Bhp-170 Nm state of tune. In Malaysia, the Rush is available in a long wheelbase version than can squeeze in no less than 7 adults. If Toyota does think of such an option for the Indian car market, the Rush could be an compact alternative to the likes of the Mahindra Scorpio and the Tata Safari, rather than the Ford EcoSport and the Renault Duster. Since the Rush measures over 4.4 meters in length and is hence ineligible for excise duty cuts, the SUV might be better off being positioned above rather than alongside the Duster-EcoSport-Terrano trio.

All said and done, official word of the Rush actually being launched in India is yet to come from Bidadi. Until the horse speaks, speculations are likely to reign. The 2014 Indian Auto Expo will be place when more clarity is likely to emerge. Until then, keep an eye out on test mules of the Rush SUV possibly hitting the test circuit.