Toyota recently unveiled the Innova Electric MPV Concept at the Indonesian International Motor Show in Jakarta. Now, according to international media reports, Innova Electric won’t be making it to production. This information was confirmed to Autonetmagz by Toyota Indonesia. Innova Electric is only being used for research and development purposes of future electric vehicles.
Anton Jimmi Suwandy, marketing director, Toyota Astra Motor, Indonesia, said, “The Kijang Innova Electric is not a car that we will sell. So this is just a concept, and its nature is just for engineering development. We borrowed this car from Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia, where this car was used for R&D by them together with Toyota Motor Asia Pacific and Toyota Daihatsu Engineering & Manufacturing,”
The Innova Electric came with some cosmetic upgrades over the regular Innova Crysta. The concept was finished in white with blue accents. The grille has now been closed which improves the airflow and gives a more streamlined look to the MPV. Just like other Toyota EVs, the Innova Electric also gets blue accents. The headlamps and the tail lamps have also been slightly revised. There were some EV-specific changes to the interior as well.
Challenges because of the platform
Toyota will face challenges in converting the existing Toyota Innova Crysta into an electric vehicle. This is because Innova Crysta is based on the IMV ladder frame chassis which is quite an old platform now. It is also being shared with the Fortuner and the Hilux pick-up truck.
The platform was made to accommodate petrol and diesel engines so it does not have space for electric motors and battery packs. The ladder frame chassis has long arms that limit the space for putting in batteries. Then there is the weight of the platform itself which itself is a disadvantage for converting the MPV to electric.
Toyota working on new generation Innova
Toyota has already started working on a new generation of Innova. It has been codenamed B560 and the new MPV was spotted on Indian roads as well. We can expect Toyota to unveil the new-gen Innova by the end of 2022 or in the first half of 2023.
As we know that the current Innova Crysta is based on the IMV platform. Well, this is expected to change with the new generation. According to media reports, the new Innova will now be using a monocoque chassis that will be based on Daihatsu’s DNGA platform. DNGA stands for Daihatsu New Global Architecture. This information is not yet confirmed, we would have to wait for Toyota to official details.
Till now, Innova has been rear-wheel drive but because of the new platform, the upcoming Innova could be front-wheel drive. This would help in increasing fuel efficiency because there would be no driveshaft to carry power to the rear wheels. This helps in saving fuel.
Last year, it was reported that the Japanese manufacturer is working on hybrid technology for their diesel engines. The hybrid system is expected to reduce emissions and help Toyota in getting tax advantages in some countries.