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Next Toyota Aygo will be a crossover. Image by Toyota.

Next Toyota Aygo will be a crossover
Toyota unveils the Aygo X Prologue concept, a go-it-alone A-segment machine with a lifestyle bent and higher stance.
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What's all this about?

This chunky little item is the next-generation Toyota Aygo. But it's all change for the third generation of the Japanese outfit's diminutive city car, because you need to be thinking lifestyle. The vehicle you can see in the pictures has the full and correct name of the Aygo X Prologue Concept, and you pronounce that 'X' in the middle as 'Cross'. As in, Yaris Cross.

What? You mean, the Aygo is becoming a crossover?!

It would appear so. Toyota, in unveiling this smart little creation, talks big about the integrated roof rails, as well as cameras in the door mirrors that can record footage of 'moments of exploration', enlarged wheels giving the driver a higher eye-point, and also the mounting point in the rear skid plate that allows for the fitment of a cycle carrier. It would appear a cheap'n'cheerful hatchback is no longer enough for the A-segment. It's therefore time for only the second micro-SUV we can think of, following on from the similarly diminutive Suzuki Ignis.

Ooh, does that mean we get two French alternatives to the Aygo X, too?

Nope. The production agreement between Toyota and the PSA Group has now come to an end, with the Japanese company going its own way. As of right now, it's highly likely there won't be any replacements at all for either the Citroen C1 or the Peugeot 108, but even if something comes along to replace them then these Gallic cars won't look anything like the Aygo X.

Right, so what technical details do we know about it?

Er... nothing. This is Toyota proudly presenting the look of its stocky, jacked-up body, so there are no glimpses of the Aygo X Prologue's interior nor mention of its propulsive force. Doing a little light extrapolation, we'd argue that the mainly smoothed-off front end of the concept itself suggests it might be powered by pure electric, as is the zeitgeist these days. Also, many manufacturers have realised that the only way to make city runarounds profitable in the long term is to make them pure EVs; it's a bold move, but one already taken by the Fiat 500 and the Honda e, and Toyota is also starting its move to electrification with the Lexus UX 300e at the vanguard. We're not saying the production version of the Aygo X will definitely be electric-only, you understand, but there's a good bet an EV variant will be part of the line-up, while part-electrified hybrids are surely a given with this particular company.

Beyond that, the Aygo X (or Aygo Cross, if you prefer) will probably sit on the same Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) GA-B platform that underpins the Yaris supermini and the front half of the outstanding GR Yaris, which has a GA-C rear end to accommodate its all-wheel-drive nature. Don't expect AWD on the Aygo Cross, though, as it'll be an urbanite adventurer's type of car, not one designed to venture miles into the wilderness with locking diffs, snorkels, lift kits and all-terrain tyres.

Sure, sure. So, can we talk about the design?

Well, we'll happily go on record as saying it looks terrific. No, really; we love it. The colour of the concept is Sparkling Chilli Red, a paint which actually has some fine blue metal-flake sprinkled into it to really make it pop, and it is contrasted by Toyota's 'bi-tone' finish. There's much more black on show here thank on current production models from the manufacturer, with all of the Aygo X's A-pillars, the roof, the C-pillars and the rear haunches finished in the shade, which bleeds into the sills and then encircles the profile of the front wheel arches. You also won't fail to notice the full-width light signatures fore and aft, the leading items forming a wing shape that echoes the sculpting of the bonnet, while the back includes a section that bisects the boot-release handle - this means the latch is illuminated at night by the rear lights themselves, which is a nice touch. Toyota would also like to point out that the taillight clusters are vaguely hexagonal, as (subtly) are many of the motifs on the car (viewing the bi-tone in profile, for example). However, there are more overt hexagons elsewhere, such as in the front bumper's grille section and for use on the foglamps in the Aygo X Prologue's chin. The use of the six-sided form puts Toyota in exalted company; most modern Lamborghinis have strong hexagonal design themes both inside and out, while BMW instrument clusters in the 2020s follow much the same layout.

It is a good-looking little car. Was it styled in Japan?

No, it was penned at Toyota's ED2 facility in the South of France. To be fair, the team which designed it was truly global, with international members heading to the site just outside Nice from all over the world to work on the Aygo X. However, a strong emphasis on European styling was desired in the end product and we're hopeful much of the distinctive appearance of the concept will make it into the eventual production version. As it is, we're eagerly anticipating more details on the Aygo X Prologue's interior layout and its mechanicals, so we'll bring you them as and when we have them.

For now, let's conclude with Lance Scott, the design director of ED2, who said of the concept: "Fun and playfulness has always been at the heart of Aygo. Now, we've added to its DNA an additional pinch of hot spice."

And Ian Cartabiano, ED2's president, added: "Everybody deserves a cool car. When I look at the Aygo X prologue, I'm really proud to say that ED2 Team created exactly that. I'm excited to see it revolutionising the A-segment."

Matt Robinson - 17 Mar 2021

2021 Toyota Aygo X Prologue Concept. Image by Toyota.2021 Toyota Aygo X Prologue Concept. Image by Toyota.2021 Toyota Aygo X Prologue Concept. Image by Toyota.2021 Toyota Aygo X Prologue Concept. Image by Toyota.2021 Toyota Aygo X Prologue Concept. Image by Toyota.

2021 Toyota Aygo X Prologue Concept. Image by Toyota.2021 Toyota Aygo X Prologue Concept. Image by Toyota.2021 Toyota Aygo X Prologue Concept. Image by Toyota.2021 Toyota Aygo X Prologue Concept. Image by Toyota.2021 Toyota Aygo X Prologue Concept. Image by Toyota.    - Toyota road tests
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