For the past couple of years, Toyota has been selling two versions of the Yaris. There are versions for U.S, Europe, Japan, and what one would call emerging markets. In ASEAN, we get the “emerging market” body style that is longer and wider than the ones sold outside the region.
Soon, however, it seems Toyota wants to simplify the Yaris range by limiting it to one platform. Does this mean our region will get the global version soon? If the latest spy shot from Thailand is any indication, it's a strong possibility.
Apparently, the all-new Yaris was spotted driving around in The Land of Smiles. What makes this sighting significant is the plate attached to the hatchback. It says TC on the car, which means Test Car, and it implies that Toyota Thailand is considering this model for their home market. The thing is, we source our Yaris from Thailand, so we might see the TNGA-based model here too.
However, there might be another reason why Toyota has a Japan/Euro Yaris in ASEAN. The Japanese automaker may be testing the suitability of the platform in the region. They could also be looking at how the new chassis holds up in more demanding road conditions and harsher climates.
With that, Toyota could build an all-new Yaris for ASEAN using the TNGA platform. It won't be the exact model as the one sold in Japan and Europe, but it might be longer and wider than the international version. It could also be the starting point for the next-generation Vios.
Back in October, we reported Toyota is already busy working on the all-new Vios. Sources told us that it will have the chassis code D92A once it's launched. That said, there are also reports saying the next-gen Vios will use a Daihatsu platform, but the Yaris test car in Thailand is making us think otherwise. However, it might also be the benchmark car for the alleged Daihatsu-based version.