Toyota’s small car to be named Etios

Toyota’s small car that will make its world debut at the Auto Expo in 2010 will be called as Etios . Etios, which means ‘the origin of’, will be officially announced by Toyota at the Delhi Auto Expo. Known until now by its codename EFC (for Economical Family Car), the Etios concept is expected to be 90 percent true to the production version which goes on sale in end-2010.

Toyota will showcase both the hatch and notchback body styles at the Expo but when the car is ready for production it will be the notchback that will be launched first, followed three months later by the hatch. Toyota wants a gradual ramp-up in production to ensure that there is no compromise on its quality and hence wants the hatch, which will sell in larger volumes, to come later.

Toyota is understood to have squeezed out costs wherever possible to ensure that the Etios is as price-competitive as possible and within striking reach of the Maruti Swift. According to company sources, the Etios will come with only one wiper and the seats too have been built to a cost. The interior plastics again are expected to be basic but hardwearing while there have been a few compromises on the NVH package as well.

The Etios will come with two engine options — a 1.4 diesel which powers the Yaris and a 1.2 or 1.3-litre petrol. Toyota already has a 1.3 (K3) engine but it is not clear if that motor will be further downsized to under 1200cc to meet the small car regulations.

India will be the lead plant in the world for the Etios followed by Brazil, thereby further consolidating India as a global hub for small cars.

Source: Autocar