The mid-size sedan segment is being dominated by the Honda City, and this segment has grown by 16% to 89,669 units during April-September. The Indian unit of Japanese auto manufacturer Toyota Motor Corp., is working behind closed doors to roll out a competitive model.
Industry sources confirm, Toyota Kirloskar India has started work on the next-generation Vios,* a mid-size sedan, which will compete with the likes of Honda City and the Hyundai Verna. The Vios is currently being developed by Toyota Motor Asia Pacific in Thailand, and the car is scheduled to launch in India by January 2018.
The Vios mid-size sedan will cater to India-specific needs, and will have a high level of localization as well, and might replace the Etios brand in the long run. Toyota currently offers the Etios (sedan) and Etios Liva (hatchback) in India.
Toyota Vios specifications and price: What to expect?
Toyota is currently working on two new engines: a 1.6-litre petrol and a 1.6-litre diesel engine. In India, the 1.4-litre diesel engine (powering the Toyota Corolla) and 1.5-litre petrol engine (power the Etios sedan) are the main engines carrying out the duties.
The Vios in Malaysia is being offered with a 1.5-litre VVT-i petrol engine, which is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Toyota Malaysia also offers an optional 4-speed automatic Electronic Control Transmission (ECT) transmission. But, for India, we expect the manual transmission variant during launch, and at a later stage the 4-speed ECT.
In Malaysia, the Vios's price starts at RM75,000 (Rs 13 lakh). However, In India, with a high level of localization, the Vios's price will be competitive and should start at INR 7 lakh (base variant) to 11 lakh for the top-of-the-line model.
DriveSpark Thinks! The Vios is what Toyota needs to compete with the Honda City and Hyundai Verna in India.
* The Toyota Vios was recently awarded the Car of the Year title at the 2015 Frost and Sullivan Malaysia Excellence Awards.