Toyota and Maruti Suzuki to launch a hybrid MPV shortly: Badge-engineered Innova Hycross likely

Toyota is working on a C-MPV that it will also share with Maruti Suzuki.  So far, Toyota has been badge engineering Maruti Suzuki cars such as the Baleno (Glanza), the Brezza (Urban Cruiser) and the Hyryder (Grand Vitara). The all-new C-MPV will be the first car that will be offered to Maruti Suzuki by Toyota. The C-MPV is expected to sit below the Innova Crysta in terms of positioning.

Toyota and Maruti Suzuki to launch a hybrid MPV shortly: Badge-engineered Innova Hycross likely
A speculative render of the Toyota HyCross Hybrid MPV

Meanwhile, here is what Toyota Kirloskar Motors Limited (TKML) has revealed through a filing with the Registrar of Companies (RoC),

Your company is preparing for C-MPV (C-segment multi-purpose vehicle) launch in FY23, which is produced not just for company but also will be the first cross badge Toyota vehicle being offered to MSIL (Maruti Suzuki India Limited).

It’ll be interesting to see if the new C-MPV that Toyota intends to share with Maruti Suzuki will be the all-new Innova HyCross or if it will be a smaller MPV that slots in between the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and the Toyota Innova Crysta.

The former makes more sense given the fact that Toyota is all set to unveil the Innova HyCross shortly in Indonesia, following which an Indian unveil is expected. Also, Toyota plans to launch the new C-MPV in FY23 (the period between July 2022 and June 2023), which means that the time for an all-new C-MPV is too short.

Toyota has already been testing a MPV on Indian roads, and speculations are rife that this MPV is a monocoque, strong hybrid Innova HyCross. Adding all these factors together, it seems very likely that the new C-MPV that Toyota will share with Maruti Suzuki would be the Innova HyCross, in strong hybrid form.

The rise of hybrids

Toyota and Maruti Suzuki to launch a hybrid MPV shortly: Badge-engineered Innova Hycross likely

Both Maruti Suzuki and Toyota have been betting big on hybrids, and together, these Japanese automakers control over 50 % of total car sales in the Indian market. The recently launched Toyota Hyryder and Maruti Grand Vitara compact SUVs have strong hybrid variants, and these variants have found very good acceptance in the Indian market.

Strong hybrids typically combine conventional petrol engines (usually 3 cylinder units for high fuel efficiency) and one or many electric motors. At low speeds, the electric motors handle much of the propulsion while the petrol motor steps in when acceleration and higher speeds are sought (a typical highway driving scenario). This combination gives strong hybrids exceptional fuel efficiency.

In fact, the near 28 Kmpl claimed fuel efficiency for the Toyota Hyryder and Maruti Grand Vitara make them more fuel efficient than diesel powered compact SUVs in their segment. Add to the fact that this high fuel efficiency is produced  on automatic cars (both strong hybrids are fully automatic), it makes the case for hybrid cars very strong indeed.

All said, the all-new Toyota Innova HyCross will be a strong hybrid, and could also be shared with Maruti Suzuki – a company that has repeatedly emphasized on de-dieselization and a focus on hybrid cars.

Via BusinessStandard