An eagle-eyed motorist spotted a convoy of three vehicles with their badges removed and/or masked by tape in Las Pinas City. The motorist who snapped these photos, Leo K. Katigbak, said that the vehicles were Hyundai Accents, but after closer examination, they were from a different manufacturer entirely: Toyota.
What you're looking at are perhaps the first examples of the new Vios in the Philippines; a successor to one of the most successful models in the Philippine auto industry.
The model is marketed either as the Yaris Ativ or Vios in other markets, and was originally revealed in Thailand back in August 2017. We actually got close to the Vios-badged version during the Singapore Motor Show in January, though this appears to be the first time it has been spotted and snapped on local roads; perhaps for verification/pre-production testing.
Despite the subtle masking, it is clear that the Vios will have the same look as the Southeast Asian Yaris Ativ. The new look is more similar to the updated Yaris hatchback that was launched by Toyota Motor Philippines earlier this year with a large, inverted trapezoid as a lower grille/radiator intake and upswept headlights.
The interior of the model we examined in Singapore showed us that it has a fresh interior too with a new dashboard and a cleaner layout. The Thai models have 1.2-liter engines, though it is expected that local examples could have 1.3 and 1.5-liter engines like what they have in Singapore.
The timing of the arrival of these Yaris Ativ/Vios cars is also interesting. With the Manila International Auto Show coming up in a few weeks' time, it is possible that Toyota could reveal the car there. However, given that the CAMPI-hosted (of which Toyota is a member of) Philippine International Motor Show is being staged in the third quarter of 2018, is is much more likely that the new generation Vios will be the major draw of that show instead.