Toyota and Honda gearing-up for high profile debuts in Tokyo next month

The long awaited fourth generation Jazz will finally make its unveiling.

Toyota and Honda are expected to steal the show at next month’s Tokyo Motor Show with a number of high profile unveilings according to Japanese publication, Best Car.

Toyota

Tj Cruiser

Aside from the much rumoured Land Cruiser 300, the boxy Tj Cruiser that bowed in the Japanese capital as a concept two years ago will become a reality in preparation for its market debut in May next year.

Set to be based on the TNGA platform, the Tj will be offered as an MPV and a commercial vehicle with up to six seats depending on the configuration, with enough space to accommodate items measuring three metres. Accordingly, it will be powered by a normally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol engine and a 2.5-litre petrol/hybrid, both sourced from the RAV4, with the option of front-or-four-wheel-drive. A CVT will be the only transmission option.

While still to be confirmed, the Tj looks set to replace the Estima, better known as the Previa, that will bow out at the end of this year, but will be positioned below the flagship Alphard and its sportier Vellfire sibling in Toyota’s MPV line-up.

Vitz

Although Toyota replaced the Japanese sourced Yaris with the controversially styled Thai model in South Africa two years, the former, known in Japan as the Vitz, will be all new when it debuts in Tokyo in terms of design and underneath its skin.

Only seen in a series of spy images undergoing testing thus far, the Vitz will be the first model underpinned by the new GA-B platform introduced last week, with reports alluding to it being more spacious than the outgoing model.

Engine options in Japan will include a normally aspirated 1.3-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre hybrid, all hooked to a CVT, with some models likely to have the option of four-wheel-drive. A GR Sport model, powered by a 1.5-litre engine, will reportedly be added in August. Sales of the Vitz will commence in February but don’t expect it to return to South Africa as a replacement for the Thai version.

Production DN-Trec

Shown as a Daihatsu in Tokyo two years ago, the DN-Trec will reportedly become the next generation Terios, which has been sold as the Toyota Rush in South Africa since 2018 following Daihatsu’s market exit four years ago.

Returning to its mini-SUV roots like previous generations, the production DN-Trec will reportedly be powered by a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 72kW/140Nm, hooked to CVT with drive either going to the front or all four wheels.

As it will be based on the TNGA platform, likely the same GA-B as the Vitz, the DN-Trec will go on sale in November this year in Japan, possibly as both a Toyota and Daihatsu, but it remains unknown whether it will replace the current Rush in South Africa.

Honda

Jazz

Arguably one of the most important new models to bow in Tokyo, the long awaited fourth generation Jazz will finally make its unveiling before going on-sale in November.

As before, it will be known as the Fit in Japan and although little is known, the publication claims it will have the option of four trim levels, seven body colours, Honda’s Sensing range of safety and driver assistance systems and a more evolutionary design.

Up front, a choice of two petrol engines will be available; a normally aspirated 1.3 and a 1.5-litre hybrid equipped with Honda’s latest Integrated Motor Assist system that features a dual-mode battery similar to the Insight. While a CVT will be standard on the former, the hybrid will sport a new e-CVT with both set to offer the option of front-or-four-wheel-drive.

In certain markets, the Jazz could potentially receive the 95 kW 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine from the Civic, but according to a report from Britain’s Autocar last month, models sold on the Old Continent will be outfitted with the hybrid powerunit only.

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