Toyota Etios hatchback and sedan

Toyota Etios sedan and hatchback were unveiled at the Auto Expo 2010; Etios sedan launch on Dec 1

Updated 31/1/2011: Toyota Etios road test is here. Good bunch of photos as well as a detailed review of the Etios petrol VX.

Updated 15/12/2010: Toyota Etios bookings cross 12,000. Market response to the Etios has been nothing short of amazing, and in just two weeks, the car racked up bookings more than 12,000.

Updated 1/12/2010: Toyota Etios sedan now launched – exciting prices for all variants, this could become a serious threat to the market leader’s sedan option the Suzuki Swift Dzire.

Updated 27/11/2010: Road tests of the Toyota Etios are now being published by different car magazines in India. We will be bring you our own road test, as well as information on the road tests by others soon. For now, here is a video of the Etios sedan from Overdrive magazine. The video shows the sedan from the outside and inside, and explains most of the features, looks, fit and finish and build quality of the car.

Toyota Etios walkaround video

Updated 26/11/2010: Toyota Kirloskar Motor is gearing up for the launch of its biggest product launch ever in India – the Toyota Etios. This is undoubtedly the most important launch for the company in India. The Etios sedan will tackle the established contenders like the popular Maruti’s Suzuki Swift DZire sedan.

We have tried to create a comprehensive resource about the Toyota Etios here for you. All our stories about the Etios in the last few months are available here. Click on the headlines to read the full stories.

Updated 26/11/2010: A teaser video featuring AR Rahman for the Etios sedan has been uploaded to Youtube recently. The teaser commercial is an attempt to drum up excitement. We don’t think it really is needed anyway! Here is the full story about the Toyota Etios ad featuring AR Rahman

Updated 4/11/2010: It is now confirmed that the Etios sedan launch will take place on 1 Dec. We think November would have been better, as the company could then capitalise on the buying season. That opportunity is lost now, and there are some buyers who will wait for the new year  to buy a car.

Updated 16/10/2010: AR Rahman will be the brand ambassador for the Etios in India. Rahman’s recent attempt at the CWG anthem did not go all too well, so here is hoping there will be a better job this time around!

Toyota Etios videos

Here is the teaser video featuring the Etios brand ambassador AR Rahman. There will be a longer version of this video out soon, we are sure.

The company has been promoting its brand and the upcoming small family sedan very aggressively ever since the Auto Expo. There have been several roadshows across the country which showcased the Etios sedan and hatchback. There has also been an on-going brand-building campaign around the concept of Q-Promise.

Updated April 2010: There are definite plans for a diesel version of the Etios. The launch variant though will be a petrol version. The diesel, when launched, will likely be priced around Rs 70,000-80,000 higher than that of the petrol Etios.

Toyota Etios hatchback and sedan
Look who is here!

The concept version of Toyota’s new compact car has been unveiled at the Delhi Auto Expo 2010. The company said that the Etios is 90 per cent production-ready.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Limited (TKM), the Japan-based Toyota Motor Corporation’s production and sales subsidiary in India, displayed Toyota Etios at the 10th Auto Expo, under the banner ‘World First, India First.’

Toyota showed off the Etios small car in both hatchback and sedan versions. At first look, the car maintained the family resemblace – the standard Toyota Camry and Corolla Altis lines were very much visible as you can see from the photos on this page.

The concept version of the Toyota Etios, developed specifically for the Indian market, is targeted at family users in India.

According to the makers, the compact car Toyota Etios, basically a family car, evokes “a sense of advanced status,” has a spacious interior with plentiful storage space, and offers smooth and powerful driving as well as very good fuel-efficiency.

Toyota Etios hatchback and sedan
Photo: Toyota Etios hatchback

Honda also unveiled its so-called “New Small” small car concept at the Auto Expo 2010 – unlike the Toyota Etios, however, the Honda car looked more like a concept while the Etios looked seriously close to a final production version. So while the New Small was all radical lines, the Etios looked relatively conservative.

Toyota Etios is evidence of changing world market dynamics – the traditional markets in the West are shrinking, while the small car markets in Asia and developing countries are exploding. Hence the sudden focus on cars made in India, for local conditions and requirements, from both Japanese manufacturers.

In order to make the new car as affordable as possible, locally available parts will be used.

Etios specs

On show at the Delhi Auto Expo are a sedan version of Toyota Etios with a newly developed 1.5-litre gasoline engine, and a hatchback version with a new 1.2-litre gasoline engine. Read our earlier story about the Toyota Etios small car. As far as specifications of the Etios go, that is pretty much all we have for now, and maximum power, torque and top speed as well as expected fuel efficiency figures are not available.

The new car will be available in four-door (sedan) and five-door (hatchback) variants.

Etios: At what price?

Toyota Etios hatchback and sedan
Photo: Toyota Etios sedan

The Etios will go on sale in India later in 2010, with a price “well below $10,000.” That means a price below Rs 5 lakh easily in Indian rupees – a very admirable goal indeed, and a recipe for a surefire hit. At that price, the Toyota Etios small car can easily chew up the Suzuki Swift and Dzire and ruthlessly hit the i20. However, there are also some rumours that by the time is the Etios is launched in India, the price would be closer to Rs 7 lakhs for the high end sedan variant – at that price point, it might become a tough battle.

Yoshinori Noritake, chief engineer of the Toyota Etios project, told reporters at the Auto Expo 2010  that he had visited many cities and homes in India to learn the market and to “hear from the consumers directly.”

Involved in the development of the Etios were about 2,000 engineers over a period of 4 years, Yoshinori Noritake explained, adding, he is convinced “in my heart” that the Etios will offer “joy of ownership and quality of life” to the consumers in India.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Limited will start producing the Toyota Etios from the late 2010, at the company’s second plant, which is now being constructed specifically for the for the new car. If they manage to stick to that deadline, the Etios sedan and hatchback can provide very strong competition to Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest manufacturer and to Hyundai, the second largest one.

The company has targeted annual sales in India of the Etios at 70,000 units. There are also plans for exports.

Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director (marketing) of Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Limited, said the company expects to expand its sales in India through its network of 150 dealers by the end of 2010.

Other interesting small cars that were launched at the Auto Expo 2010 were the Volkswagen Polo and the Chevrolet Beat.