Here’s what Toyota is bringing to South Africa in 2019…
Toyota South Africa Motors has confirmed its product plans for 2019, revealing that it will offer more than ten new or updated model ranges (including a handful from luxury brand, Lexus) locally this year.
From Toyota, the first to arrive will be the new Corolla hatchback, which will effectively replace the Auris. Of course, earlier in February, we brought you a pricing scoop story, detailing the three-strong local range. As we pointed out in that piece, just a single engine – the turbocharged 1,2-litre petrol unit already used in the C-HR – will be offered at launch, mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a continuously variable transmission.
In March, the new, fifth-generation RAV4 should hit local shores, with the engine line-up comprising a 2,0-litre four-cylinder unit (with new outputs of 127 kW and 207 N.m) and a 2,5-litre powerplant (now churning out 152 kW and 250 N.m) – both naturally aspirated petrol motors.
In May, an updated version of the Avanza is due, along with the new (imported) Quantum van and bus ranges (with a top-spec VX model set down for a September introduction). For the record, Toyota SA Motors says it will continue to produce the Ses’Fikile minibus, which is based on the outgoing Quantum, at its Prospecton plant for the foreseeable future.
June will see the launch of the Hilux GR-Sport, a special-edition version of the firm’s popular double-cab bakkie. Just 535 units have been set aside for South Africa, each benefiting from a “specially configured” suspension system designed for fast gravel tracks.
The new, A90-generation Supra should touch down around that time, too. While details on the local range are scarce, we expect the SA-spec version of the rear-wheel-drive coupé to be powered by the range-topping, BMW-sourced 250 kW/500 N.m turbocharged 3,0-litre inline-six, linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF. Whether the four-cylinder models will be offered locally remains to be seen.
The facelifted Prius is also expected to hit the local market later in 2019.
In the Lexus stable, we’ve already seen the new UX crossover and facelifted RC350 F Sport coupé, while the high-performance RC F derivative (with its 351 kW/530 N.m, naturally aspirated 5,0-litre V8 engine) has been pencilled in for a mid-year introduction. Interestingly, the limited-production RC F Track Edition is also destined for local shores.
Finally, Toyota SA Motors also confirmed plans to add an LS F Sport variant to its flagship luxury sedan line-up. While this derivative employs the same turbocharged 3,5-litre V6 petrol engine (worth 310 kW and 600 N.m) as the existing LS500, it adds various F Sport design features (inside and out), including special 20-inch alloys.