By on June 2, 2021

corolla cross. Toyota

Toyota is on a product blitz today.

Our man Chris is in Texas today, learning more about what the automaker has planned, and while he eats all the shrimp talks to brand folks about it, I’ll give you the newsier skinny.

Let’s start with the big one — the Corolla Cross. Sharing a platform with the venerable compact sedan, it’s a compact crossover SUV with more conventional styling than the C-HR and it will offer front-wheel or all-wheel drive. There appears to be just one available engine: A 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 169 horsepower. Getting that power to ground will be a continuously-variable automatic transmission. Yeah, we know, we know.

There will be three trim levels: L, LE, and XLE. Available features will include dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, a power liftgate, 8-inch infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, USB ports, wireless cell-phone charging, satellite radio, JBL audio, blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking assist with automatic braking, and a power moonroof.

Toyota has given AWD models a fully independent suspension, with a torsion-beam rear setup for FWD models. The brand claims up to 1,500 pounds of towing capacity.

A Dynamic Torque Control system can send up to half the power to the rear wheels when needed and completely disengage if the power isn’t needed back there.

Estimated fuel economy is listed at 32 mpg combined for the FWD model and 30 for AWD.

Toyota will probably never, ever say it out loud, but the Corolla Cross seems to be an acknowledgment that the C-HR, which apparently will NOT be heading to the gallows, is too wildly styled for the masses and something more conventional-looking needs to be on offer.

bZ4X. Toyota

The Corolla Cross — which we’ve already taken to calling the RollaX internally — isn’t the only product unveiled today in Texas. A concept battery-electric SUV dubbed the bZ4X BEV Concept (yep, that lower-case “b” isn’t a typo and boy doesn’t that name just roll off the tongue) shows the brand’s commitment to electrification, which in this case will continue with a stated new 15 BEVs globally by 2025, and 70 global models that offer some form of electrification by that year. As per usual with these claims, we’re curious to see if the target actually gets met. Note the use of “electrification” instead of “electric” — an “electrified” vehicle can be something like a mild hybrid, and not necessarily a full EV.

The RAV4-sized concept has an all-wheel-drive system that Toyota calls “new” without going into detail, at least for now. We should know more later this year. It does appear that a production version is targeted for sale in 2022.

GR86. Toyota

Moving away from concepts back to production vehicles, it was inevitable that when Subaru re-did the BRZ, the GR86, which shares that car’s bones, would follow. And so it is.

The changes include Gazoo racing badging, more torque peaking at a lower RPM, more horsepower, a more-rigid body, a new interior, and a membership in the National Auto Sport Association that includes a high-performance driving experience.

The 2.4-liter “flat” four (Toyota shan’t dare call it a “boxer”) jumps from 205 to 228 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque to 184 lb-ft. Still no turbo. Drivers still get to choose between a six-speed manual and automatic transmission.

There will be two trims, with the top trim adding a spoiler. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, and an eight-speaker sound system are among the available features.

Tacoma Trail Edition. Toyota

OK, it’s time for me to take a break and …. damn it, there’s more! Other new Toyota product unveiled today includes a Tacoma Trail Edition, only available on 4×4 models, that lifts the front 1.1 inches and the rear half an inch, adds storage and a cooler and adds unique wheels and grille.

Tacoma TRD Pro. 2022. Toyota

OK, surely I can stop now and get a cup of coff — son of a bitch! I’ve just been informed there’s also a new Tacoma TRD Pro that has the same 0.5 inch rear lift as the Trail Edition to go along with a 1.5-inch front lift. Forged aluminum upper control arms provide more rebound stroke, and there are new wheels here, too. Along with different styling accents and FOX internal bypass shocks. And a TRD-tuned cat-back exhaust.

A91-CF Supra. Toyota

Man, that’s a lot of news from just one event. One I am not even at! OK, surely I’m done and can fire up my coffee maker — aw, crap! There’s also a special-edition Supra dubbed A91-CF. Only 600 units will be built, and it will have a carbon-fiber body kit, duckbill spoiler, unique 19-inch wheels, unique interior, and the same free driving-association membership offered to GR86 buyers, including the same HPDE.

That’s it. No more! Nap time.

[Images: Toyota]

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26 Comments on “Toyota Unveils Corolla Cross, Next GR86, and More...”

  • avatar
    Add Lightness

    If the CVT they are planning to use is their planetary gearbox one and not the cones and band type, it is just fine. Ask anyone maintaining Prius taxis.
    …not so fine is the band type used in snowmobiles and other CVT cars.

  • avatar

    GR86 sounds tasty

  • avatar

    Well, the 86 has what everybody whined for: Moar Power.

    As for those other boxes, well, whatever.

    • 0 avatar

      And there are still people who complain it isn’t enough. Oh well. Can’t please everybody.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        People have been saying the Miata needs a turbo since 1989. And when they gave it one in 2003ish they said it needed a bigger turbo.

        While the power additions are modest, it should go a long way towards making it a better car. It is more interesting to me than the Supra at this point anyway.

  • avatar

    The Cross isn’t a bad looking little thing- from the side it’s almost clean and handsome like a first-get Highlander. But the RAV-4 is already pretty jittery and noisy, makes me wonder if this will be even less refined.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    I saw my first SUPRA in real life on saturday.
    I used to think the full size new chevy PIG up was the worst.

    Supra is really really bad. FUGLY

    • 0 avatar

      Underneath all that excessive “design” lies a well-proportioned sports car. It’s a shame the design committee couldn’t resist adding MORE design.

  • avatar

    A slew of fugliness from the reliable hat car company

  • avatar

    Wow, it’s only been, what–8 years?–and everyone has forgotten about one of Toyota’s best cars they ever built: the Matrix. A Corolla wagon by any other name….even had AWD optional…

    And here we are again, with the new…Matrix!

  • avatar

    Was there any mention of their battery technology roadmap? Last I checked, they were still working out production scaling issues with the solid-state battery. Haven’t heard if they’ve made progress.

  • avatar

    Japan must catch up to China on development and manufacturing EVs – said President Bidon in recent interview.

    I am afraid it s too late.

  • avatar

    They should just rename the Cross the Toyota Homely and leave it at that.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    This company is boring me to death.

    No EVs, and a bland Crossolla (good one, Oberkanone).

    “15 BEVs globally by 2025” is getting pretty close, and it’s unlikely most of those will be available in the US. It’s also unlikely they’ll have solid-state battery tech worked out and production humming by then, as they essentially have nothing today except lab rats.

    Such a vehicle would need to be in prototype phase already, with contracts being made for large-scale battery production space. Toyota is too conservative of a company to scale up new tech so quickly without a billion miles of testing under its belt.

    Toyota could find itself regulated downward without a meaningful EV fleet very soon, so I predict any early entries are going to be lithium-ion powered. And where they would source batteries is an interesting question. Even Toyota can’t just conjure a battery plant overnight.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree with your point on Toyota thoroughly testing its products but I feel they will continue to leverage HSD in order to test/offer the lithium-ion batteries you refer too. So, exactly what I have been saying for several years… sell hybrids at profit while battery research/technology continues to improve. Not build loss leaders nobody wants (other than Tesla who has a customer base and I believe profits now).

  • avatar

    Man, Toyota just needs to back off a bit on the “styling”. The Carolla Cross could have been decent looking, but they went way too far off the cliff on it. Those “flairs” should be renamed “fails”. The Taco isn’t too bad though.

    • 0 avatar

      Ever drive a Tacoma? I’ve rented a few and found them miserable to drive. The 3.5V6 is underpowered for this very heavy truck. Low roofline and limited headroom reduces visibility and makes getting in and out a chore, and you tend to bump your head on the door frame. Transmission hunts in the highway even on level ground. Transmission is also unresponsive and reluctant to kick down – except it hunts by itself. It is exhausting to drive. I liked the Rangers I’ve driven about 1000X more even though the ones I drove had psychotic transmissions. If Ford can tune it properly I’ll buy a Ranger. And that 2.3 Ecoboost 4 is a rocket.

  • avatar

    So its the new C-HR, but we’re going to continue to make the C-HR even though it sucks? Nice.

    The fact this has the Corolla name attached and the C-HR did not suggests Toyota higher ups also did not have confidence in it before it went on sale in the first place. This new Corolla trucklet looks like a RAV, what’s the point of it again? Why can’t you just do SWB and LWB of RAV and call the LWB variant RAV XTRA or something (or is this really a SWB RAV)?

    • 0 avatar
      SD 328I

      No, it’s priced and sized to be between the C-HR and RAV4. The “sweet spot” sort of speak from the entry level C-HR and pretty costly RAV4 these days.

  • avatar

    Toyota has been literally been selling the Corolla Cross for 26 years. Its calles the Rav4! The gen1 rav4 was exactly that. A crossover based on corolla underpinnings. Why make another rav4 to compete with the rav4?

  • avatar

    What about the Tundra and sequoia redesign? That’s what I am interested in.

  • avatar
    Norman Stansfield

    The C-HR is too wildly styled for the masses, but offers little performance for enthusiasts.

  • avatar

    From the side it looks like a GMC Terrain. Blah.

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