BRUSSELS – Toyota is preparing a new Europe-specific vehicle platform that will accommodate full-hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full-electric powertrains, depending on market conditions and customer preference.
The architecture will combine elements of Toyota’s global compact platform (GA-C) and the EV-only e-TNGA platform. E3 stands for for emotion, engagement and energy, Toyota Europe says.
Toyota needs a new archtecture for Europe because it will not build vehicles based on the e-TNGA platform in the region, instead importing them from Japan, starting with the bZ4X compact crossover to be launched next year.
The E3 platform will allow the automaker to adjust the powertrain mix of its core products according to customer demand and availability of charging infrastructure,Toyota Motor Europe CEO Matt Harrison said.
“We are convinced that the journey to carbon neutrality will not be only electric, it will be eclectic – that is to say, it will embrace multiple technologies and fuels which all lead to the same destination,” Harrison said in an interview with Automotive News Europe.
Toyota will install the E3 platform in its UK and Turkey plants, which already build models based on the GA-C architecture (See table, below). The two plants have a combined total capacity of over 450,000 units a year.
Harrison said that the E3 platform would go into production in the second half of this decade.
It will underpin Toyota’s growing lineup of compact models, which has been expanded with the new Corolla Cross SUV joining the C-HR and RAV4 SUVs, and Corolla hatchback, sedan and wagon models.
Toyota’s future compact lineup will evolve, with only the Corolla hatchback – and possibly the sedan – replaced for the next generation. Station wagon customers would be served by the Corolla Cross, which will be imported from Japan; a second generation, to debut later in the decade, will be manufactured in Europe on the E3 architecture.
Toyota will also use the E3 architecture to underpin a second-generation C-HR. The distinctively designed coupe SUV was launched in 2018 and is the oldest offering in the automaker’s compact lineup in Europe.
With 88,433 units sold in Europe from January to October, the CH-R is Toyota’s second best-selling SUV behind the RAV4 (92,552) and the fourth overall best-seller behind the Yaris small car (164,164) and the Corolla range (121,233), JATO Dynamics figures show.