Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Canada To Get Redesigned, French-Made Toyota Yaris. Will the U.S.?

2015 Toyota Yaris front

Toyota Canada has put out a press release detailing the refreshed 2015 Toyota Yaris, which is being made in France. The launch of the new 2015 Yaris represents the first time in history that Toyota Motor Europe’s Product Planning Department and Research and Development Division based in Brussels and the European Design Centre at Sophia Antipolis near Nice have been working hand in hand to develop a product for export. In fact, more than 84% of Yaris models made at the French plant will be made for export to other markets. It's definitely going to Canada. Will it come to the U.S. too?

It's obvious that the front end has been restyled, which follows along the lines of other Toyota and Lexus products. The interior has also been refreshed with different materials that "which, both in feel and appearance, have significantly changed compared to the previous model," according to Toyota Canada.

Under the hood? The same old 1.5-liter 1NZ-FE powerplant. However, the car will finally gain a six-speed manual transmission, although it'll continue to utilize the old four-speed automatic. This powerplant still makes 106 horsepower and 103 lb/ft of torque. FYI, the 1NZ-FE has been in production now for about 15 years. (If it ain't broke don't fix it?)

2015 Toyota Yaris rear

In addition, Toyota Canada claims improved ride comfort and handling thanks to a new torsion beam rear suspension, new shock absorbers, and modified steering. Frontal rigidity has also been increased and the suspension has been tuned softer. Toyota does point out that the introduction of rebound springs within the shocks increases front anti-roll stiffness and improves handling and reduces body roll. Toyota also says it has reduced noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) levels too.

Canada will get a CE, LE, and SE models in three- and five-door variants (CE is three-door only). Pricing is slated to arrive this summer.

In the U.S., we keep hearing the next Yaris is going to be built by Mazda. This begs the question: Is this Euro Yaris a placeholder for that, or is the U.S. still getting the Mazda-built Yaris replacement?

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