Facelift or all-new?
In the ASEAN region, the Philippines is one of the countries that is yet to have the fourth-generation Vios that’s underpinned by the new Daihatsu DNGA platform.
Most recently, Toyota Motor Philippines has started cutting down the variant offering of the current third-generation model. This has fueled speculations that perhaps, the next generation is on its way. However, the recent information we got hold of may give us a better indicator of what they have planned.
TMP has received approval for passenger vehicles with gasoline engine displacements of 1329cc and 1496cc. Upon running the numbers, the engine capacities point out to the 1NR and 2NR-FE – two Dual VVT-I engines that are part of the Vios lineup in the country.
In these cases, a new approval could mean they are either launching the DNGA all-new model or a model update. For the Vios, Toyota seems to be leaning towards the latter.
The approval had the chassis code NSP150, which points out to the one used by the third-generation Vios. For reference, the fourth-generation DNGA Vios has the chassis code AC100. So based on this information alone, it looks like Toyota Motor Philippines is intent on sticking to the third-generation model.
Last year, the third-generation model Vios received a rather interesting facelift over in Vietnam. It had a new look front-end, some minor changes to the standard features, and added the Toyota Safety Sense to the top-spec G variant.
The PH-spec model could mirror those updates, but it would still depend on the product planning specialists over at the Santa Rosa plant where Toyota makes the Vios.
From a manufacturing engineer’s perspective, one possible reason for TMP sticking to the third-generation model is that it takes less work (and far less cost) to tweak the production line for a minor refresh rather than a full model change, especially now that they also have their hands full retooling the plant to produce the new Tamaraw. This could also be another reason why TMP had to cut down the Vios lineup to optimize the production flow of parts and raw materials.
So as it stands, the DNGA Vios may not come until at least next year... or even not at all.