That Toyota is working on a new SUV to slot underneath the sales chart-storming RAV4 is among the motoring world's worst-kept secrets. First, a leaked slide from a dealership presentation confirmed the Japanese giant was working on a new CUV that would launch in Q3 2021, with that news quickly followed by the discovery that Toyota in Australia had trademarked the name Corolla Cross with the federal government’s IP office.
And with Yaris set to be transformed into an SUV (the Yaris Cross), it doesn't take much in the way of detective work to figure out what shape the Corolla Cross will take.
Today, a new render has appeared previewing what a high-riding Corolla could look like, with the brand's incoming Kia Seltos rival looking plenty tempting as a crossover SUV.
The image - which is, of course, unofficial, and has been cooked up by Brazilian artist Kleber Silva - blends a Corolla with the a RAV4, most obvious in the side profile, and the result is a seriously fetching small SUV.
While Toyota is yet to confirm powertrain details, we would expect the Corolla Cross to take advantage of its hatchback namesake's engine options, which means a choice of a 1.8-litre petrol-electric hybrid or a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engines.
Toyota Australia has previously opted not to comment on the Corolla Cross trademark, other than to point out that “small SUVs are a growing segment”.
“We have the C-HR currently competing in that segment. It’s an area for future growth, and we would need to study any future introductions to see if they would work for Australia,” a spokesperson said.
“I wouldn’t rule (two small SUVs) out, though. There are other competitors that are doing a similar thing, and we would need to go away and crunch those numbers and do a bit of market research to see whether it’s something that would really work or not.”