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Toyota launched the Aygo city car back in 2005 alongside similar models from Citroen and Peugeot and built in the Czech Republic. The Aygo made its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show and became an instant hit. Now Toyota has expanded the appeal of their city car with the introduction of the Aygo X, a crossover which is unique in its market segment. However you will have to wait until next year, probably the second quarter, to get behind the wheel of this compact crossover.

In order to develop the best proposition in its class, Toyota undertook thorough research into urban driving requirements across Europe, listening to customers’ desires for a stylish and compact crossover. The newcomer built on the successful Toyota Global New Architecture GA-B platform, first introduced with the new Yaris and more recently with Yaris Cross. Whether in the city or on open roads, a car in this sector must stand out by being compact and agile, inspiring driver confidence and it needs to generate a sense of emotion, while integrating the best technological advances and being economical to run; the latter is becoming increasingly important. Starting with the Aygo X prologue concept car, which was developed at Toyota’s European Design and Development centre in the South of France, designers wanted to bring a sense of daring and spice to Europe’s compact car market

The Aygo has been Toyota’s most accessible car in Europe, and has delighted customers with its youthful and fun character. These qualities have attracted many new style-conscious buyers to the Toyota brand. I have discovered that more than ever, Toyota customers are looking for flair, distinctiveness, and the chance to make a personal statement. By building on the A-segment’s leading style icon, the Toyota Design Centre set out to design a concept car specifically for them. Following the successful reveal and positive reception of the eye-catching “Sparkling Chilli Red” Aygo X prologue, the Aygo X project was transferred to the styling section at Toyota Motor Europe in Belgium, where the design teams worked closely with product planning and R&D to turn the new A-segment car from concept to reality. A bold bi-tone execution, coupled with a new spice colour concept, creates a profile that grabs the attention, emphasising the car’s readiness to leap forward into action. The new wedged roofline also increases the dynamic feeling and sportier image. In the front, high-tech lamps hug the upper bonnet to form a wing-like shape, while, set lower to the ground; the large grille, fog lamps and skid plate all build on the double trapezoid theme that is part of Aygo’s identity. The new colour concept is inspired by different spices, producing a unique range of colours that capture the car’s flavours and personalities.

In adapting the proven and successful GA-B platform for Aygo X, Toyota has produced a unique crossover with a modified and downsized rear chassis section and shorter front and rear overhangs. At 3,700mm long, it is 235mm longer than its predecessor, although the wheelbase has been increased by just 90mm. The front overhang is 72mm shorter than the Yaris hatchback, while maximum wheel size is larger, at 46cm (18 in) and Aygo X has an exceptionally small turning radius of just 4.7m, one of the tightest in the segment. Total body width has increased by 125mm to 1,740mm. As a result, the front seats are set 20mm further apart, increasing shoulder space by 45mm. Luggage space is also segment-leading with 125mm more load space length and a smart space design behind the rear seats, increasing cargo capacity by more than 60 litres to 231 litres. The pagoda roof design maintains compact overall dimensions, while providing a comfortable, spacious cabin. Vehicle height has been increased by 50mm to 1,525mm. The steering system has been tuned for urban and suburban driving in Europe, with a new S-CVT transmission delivering best-in-class initial response, intuitive gearing and linearity while keeping a strong power-fuel consumption balance.

Aygo X is a compact car equipped with some of the latest big features. Providing the power a modest one litre three cylinder engine with a top speed just shy of 160kph (100mph) and rest to 100kph (62mph) comes up in a whisker over 15 seconds, Customers will be able to stay connected with their Aygo X via Toyota Smart Connect and MyT smartphone app.

I hope to be able to bring driving impressions as soon as one is available.

Ian Lynas