At a time when social distancing is expected to drag on for some time and much of the global industry is currently shut down, it’s easy to question just how far back things are likely to slip when everything gets back to a level of reasonable normality.
That said, we can all count on eventually seeing the factories fire back up and, even if some projects fall behind schedule, we’ll see plenty of new models rolling out from manufacturers like Toyota, which – according to this leaked PowerPoint slide – has a lot in store between now and 2022.
The official-looking slide, sourced through fan website GR86.org and apparently captured by a dealer being briefed on the staged rollout, shows Toyota not only has a lot of new product in the works but also plans to update some of its key current models during the next two years.
It’s no surprise that the list is particularly heavy on the truck side. It starts with the launch of a new version of the Sienna this coming autumn. Though minivans have lost momentum in recent years, they still make up a reasonable market segment, especially since there are so few players left. Toyota has been slow to keep Sienna fresh, however, with the current model hanging around since 2010.
About the same time as the new minivan is scheduled to roll out we will see what here is described as an “All-New Crossover.” According to some sources, this may bring back the Venza badge that hasn’t been on the market since 2015.
Curiously, both the Sienna and the new CUV are marked as being “All Hybrid.” Whether that means there will only be hybrid powertrains or that they will launch only in gas-electric form, with conventional engines to follow, isn’t clear. But we know that Toyota is committing even more in the coming years to the hybrid technology that is already the base of its line-up.
Next up, scheduled for summer 2021, is a new version of the little 86. There have been solid reports that a complete makeover of the sports car was in the works and plenty of information leaking out. The next-gen 86, which will continue as a joint venture between Toyota and Subaru, should address some of the biggest complaints, notably by giving buyers a new, 255-horsepower turbocharged 2.4-liter boxer engine. That’s likely to be one of several powertrains, the turbo-four powering a new GR86 edition developed by Toyota’s Gazoo Racing team.
The next-gen 86, a closer glance reveals, will be the only passenger model to get any form of makeover through at least 2022, according to the chart.
It will be followed in Q3 2021 by yet another “All-New CUV.” We’re expecting that model will come out of the new Alabama assembly plant Toyota is erecting as part of a partnership with Mazda. And it would seem likely that the smaller Japanese automaker will get a version of that crossover, as well. According to sources, the new CUV will be Corolla-based.
The fourth quarter will bring a remake of the Toyota Tundra and few of the company’s products more desperately needs an update. Toyota has long harbored hopes of cracking Detroit’s hold on the high-sales/high-profit full-size pickup segment, but Tundra has remained little more than a market afterthought. The new model will have to deliver more powertrain options, more features, an updated design, better towing and be available with more body and cargo configurations to truly gain a foothold.
The slide wraps up with two more utility vehicles. The current 4Runner and Sequoia are clearly getting long in the tooth, their underlying platform dating back more than a decade. Unlike the new CUVs, both models will remain body-on-frame and, word has it, both will share the underlying platform to be used for the next-generation Tundra pickup.
There are some gaps that might be found on additional slides. For one thing, we see nothing about any form of all-electric model. While still skeptical of the technology, Toyota has strongly hinted it has one or more in the works.
Then there’s the Land Cruiser model. That appears to be slightly to the right of where this chart ends, a bit closer to mid-decade. Expect to see it retain its classic body-on-frame platform but get more luxurious detailing and features. Meanwhile, the Lexus LX that shares the Land Cruiser platform is expected to move even more upscale and challenge not only high-line marques like Mercedes-Benz but even more exclusive brands such as Bentley, with its Bentayga SUV.
Toyota’s luxury brand has an assortment of new and significantly updated products in the works, meanwhile, including an RX makeover expected to show up around 2023.
How the coronavirus pandemic will impact the rollout Toyota is planning remains to be seen. The updated Sienna and new CUV seem most clearly at risk. But the construction of the Toyota/Mazda factory in Alabama might also be pushed back if the crisis stretches on much longer, impacting the launch of the Corolla-based crossover, as well. Beyond that, well, everything seems to be in a state of flux these days.