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Is the sub-$20,000 Toyota back? The Aygo X Prologue concept is the rugged urban runabout to save the struggling city car and stick it to the Kia Picanto, Suzuki Swift and MG3

While sharing a few styling cues with the last two Aygo series, the 2022 version will be taller and look more rugged.

Toyota plans to drop a baby bombshell on the struggling city car segment worldwide with the completely redesigned and strikingly reimagined Aygo for 2022.

The concept-car-without-a-motor-show Aygo X Prologue reveals a higher-riding, more crossover-style city car, with unusually big bumpers and plastic cladded bulging wheelarches.

Whether the bold lighting elements, 19-inch wheels, zig-zag roof motif and a very-Volvo C30-esque (or should that be 1970 Volvo P1800 ES?) backside treatment make it to production isn’t known, and probably won’t be until the actual car is revealed soon.

Just don’t expect the so-called “action cameras” dotted around the car to capture some high-adventure manoeuvre or in-built rear-bumper-sited bike holder to see the light of day.

From a dimensional point of view, however, this is right on the money for the market, at 3700mm long, 1500mm high (as per the larger Yaris) and riding on a 2430mm wheelbase.

Unlike the first two iterations, this newly-lifted and crossover-ised Aygo will reportedly not spawn a Peugeot 107/108 or Citroen C1 offshoot, since Toyota has decided to go it alone and not partner up with Peugeot/Citroen (formerly of PSA but now part of the wider Stellantis group).

No matter, because not being tied up in a contract with another manufacturer opens up the possibility of the 2022 Aygo going truly global to make Toyota’s gamble of going it alone viable, to take on the likes of the popular Kia Picanto in Australia – where last year it accounted for a whopping 78 per cent of the admittedly tiny (at 0.5 per cent overall) micro car market.

What powertrains will be offered is unknown, but word is that Toyota’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine will most likely carry over in albeit modified form to help keep costs down. Expect it to drive the front wheels via a five-speed manual or CVT auto.

However, you can bet your bottom dollar that petrol-electric hybrid and probably electrification further down the track will eventually form part of the formula for this feisty urban runabout.

Though PSA and Toyota jointly took responsibility for the manufacturing of the previous two generation Aygo-based city cars, the joint venture was terminated in late 2018, with Toyota taking over the Czech-republic plant that made the trio from the beginning of this year. It hasn’t been confirmed whether the 2022 Aygo will be made anywhere else.

Fun fact, these vehicles are regarded as amongst the most reliable and dependable cars in their class, topping many European surveys for owner satisfaction.

Back in Australia, the newcomer presents a tantalising prospect of acting as the belated replacement for the previous-generation Yaris, which kicked off from around $15,000.

While small does not mean cheaper to build, Toyota could position this city car well under $20,000 as a rival against the Kia, along with the Suzuki Swift and bestselling MG3, which now dominates the supermini sector in this country.

All eyes are now on the production version. If the X Prologue really is close to what the production Aygo looks like, Toyota may once again rule the city-car class in Australia.