What future Toyota cars and trucks will we see from Toyota USA?
When we talk years, we usually mean model years; cars for the next model year show up around September 1, in most cases. What about flying electric taxis? Toyota’s there.
The Tundra is slated for a 2022 redesign, which will almost certainly be very comprehensive, to leapfrog the aged truck for last place to first place in large American pickups. It’s languished for years with the same engines, body, and, well, just about everything else. We believe the next generation will include a highly efficient hybrid version—not a “barely hybrid” Ram 1500 setup, but something more worthy of Toyota.
The new Sequoia is likely being codeveloped with the Tundra, and the Land Cruiser will move onto that architecture and appear around a year after the Sequoia. The Sequoia could land within six months of the Tundra or a full year later. The Land Cruiser really doesn’t sell well enough to justify its own body, and the Jeep Wagoneer showed the solution for that—in 1963—and again in 2021 or so. (Given FCA’s history of delays, you might even expect the Land Cruiser to arrive before the Wagoneer, which will be based on the Ram 1500 or 2500. The original Wagoneer was launched at nearly the same time as a new Jeep Gladiator full-size pickup—no relation to the current Wrangler-based Gladiator. Confused? Buy the book.)
Toyota, like most other automakers, is trying to move cars onto common platforms dimensions and architectures; the Corolla, Camry, RAV4, Highlander, Avalon, and future Yaris moved onto a single platform/architecture which is a major advance. It also has more money in the suspension and chassis; years of cost-cutting are being reversed. The most important of these for sales is probably the RAV4 which also has a hybrid version for 2020. The new C-HR subcompact coupe crossover is on the same chassis and to be updated in a year or two.
A huge seller, the Toyota Sienna minivan — America’s most reliable minivan for many years, easily beating the Honda Odyssey — will be moved onto TNGA as a 2021 model; it’s the #4 selling minivan in America, down from #1, so it needs the attention!
The Lexus UX is a subcompact TNGA crossover. The Yaris sedan is a Mazda2 with Toyota labels (formerly called “Scion iA”), and is just being refreshed with a new grille and optional LED headlights. The oddly unrelated 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback will have styling updates and then move to TNGA later.
The 2020 Toyota Corolla boasts a new 2-liter engine and a 60% increase in torsional rigidity, going from worst-in-class power (identical to 1995 Neon ratings) up to 168 horses with the 2-liter; skip the base engine, but think about the hybrid’s 50+ mpg (with optional "fast" mode). Buyers can still get a stick-shift (SE M6) if they don’t want the innovative CVT+two-speed automatic combo which increases the gear range and efficiency. (Hatchback buyers got the new Corolla design last year.) The Corolla Hybrid is basically a Prius.
The Camry and Avalon have already moved into their next generations; they have Apple CarPlay and are working on Android Auto. All wheel drive appears to be planned for both; and there are new TRD versions for 2020. The Mirai continues to be on sale, but in the USA, only Californians can buy it; it's slated for an update very soon.
The Prius Prime is a plug-in hybrid version of the Prius. The Prius C was replaced by the Corolla hybrid.
Toyota worked with Subaru, which is partly owns, on a sports car, the Toyota 86 (formerly called Scion FR-S, and also sold as Subaru BRZ) — perhaps an unfortunate name, shared with slang for rejecting or getting rid of something, and with Maxwell Smart’s code number. There’s another joint venture based sports car coming — the next-gen Toyota Supra, which is mainly a BMW. A four cylinder and six cylinder are anticipated; the race version, likely not sharing parts with the production version, has already been shown.
In 2009, nearly ten years ago, Akio Toyoda took control of Toyota as President and almost immediately dropped his predecessor’s plan to boost global market share, instead changing Toyota’s priorities to focus on high-quality, affordable cars. Akio Toyoda said that rapid growth had strained Toyota’s resources. Today, Toyota is, like other automakers, pushing resources into the increasingly-popular crossovers; but it has not stopped supporting cars, either.
The Toyota Tundra, a true American-style full-sized pickup, was built and largely engineered in the United States. Plans for heavier duty (three-quarter or full ton) variants seem to have been dropped when sales were less than half of the projections. The big 5.7 liter V8, also used in the Lexus LX570 and the Land Cruiser, has not been substantially updated, like the Tundra itself, and is overdue for an overhaul or replacement. These, and the Sequoia and 4Runner, are all due for hefty redesigns in 2022, which may leapfrog them back over GM, if not Ram and Ford.
What about Lexus? The IS and GS may be dropped, and the ES may be extended with all wheel drive and a power boost to take up where the GS left off. There will be no sub-$30,000 Lexus cars or crossovers (big surprise). A new three-row Lexus crossover is likely, and the company is looking into other crossover niches. The new ES gained a power boost and an additional two forward gears in the transmission, and moved to the capable new TNGA platform/architecture. A new F Sport package is expected to account for nearly a quarter of new Lexus ES sales.
Stay tuned for updates to this page.