By on February 19, 2020

Toyota has expressed interest in delivering a compact crossover sized smaller than the existing C-HR before, going so far as to offer a few teasers to whet the collective appetite. Another bait image was posted this week, accompanying promises that the automaker will debut the model at the 2020 Geneva Auto Show next month.

While the model could go head-to-head with a handful of rides here in North America, it’s a product aimed primarily at the European market. Based on the TNGA-B platform, the mystery Toyota is supposed to undercut the C-HR in scale and price. Here, that would make it a likely rival for the Nissan Kicks or Ford EcoSport. Both models have seen modest sales growth through their first full year on sale, but there’s not a lot of heat in the segment as a whole.

Toyota will only ship the new crossover as far West as it thinks is profitable.

Despite several European outlets pegging the prospective model as targeting regional compacts that prioritize style over space, possibly due to the assumption that it’ll be a smaller C-HR, teasers actually show the back end looking very boxy. Tail lights are rectangular, matching the general shape we’ve seen on the current-generation RAV4, with a the rear glass angling inward toward a spoiler.

Badging indicates some form of hybridization and Toyota’s electric AWD, the latter of which affixes a small e-motor to the rear axle to help with stability whenever traction becomes a problem. It’s not traditional all-wheel drive, nor as capable, but remains useful when the going gets rough at low speeds. Limitations aside, your author has found it somewhat handy in the past and believes it to be a shrewd marketing opportunity for the brand in regions where the weather is less than predictable. In the Prius, AWD results in a heavier battery that’s better suited for cold environments. That alone could make it worth a second look for those living in places with inhospitable winters.

Auto Express believes Toyota is attempting to get the car as small as possible (about 4 meters in length) and suggests it will be just a few millimeters longer than the Yaris. Previous interviews with the outlet indicated the manufacturer is looking for something better suited to compete with the industry’s “more practical offerings,” meaning it’ll probably have a less wild design than the C-HR and be priced accordingly.

According to Toyota, the new model will be manufactured alongside the Euro-spec Yaris in France. Any additional information will be dripped out through additional teasers or announced in Geneva early next month.

[Image: Toyota]

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