New Innova will get monocoque chassis, front-wheel-drive and petrol hybrid power. There will be no diesel.
Toyota has enjoyed massive success in India with its string of people movers. This seems all set to continue with the next-gen Toyota Innova. Slated to hit the market around Diwali 2022, the new people mover will be built on a car-like monocoque chassis, instead of a truck-like ladder frame, and will come powered by a petrol hybrid engine rather than diesel. This will make the next-gen Innova very different from the Innova Crysta. The news was first broken by us in our latest May 2022 issue of the Autocar India magazine.
Next-gen Innova: will be based on TNGA-C platform
The platform Toyota has chosen to base the all-new Innova on is one of its most popular. Known as the TNGA-C or just GA-C (Global Architecture C), it’s the platform on which the famous Corolla is built. Further, the MPV we will get could be loosely based on the 670B sold in Japan and is also likely to share many bits with Japan-only MPVs like the Toyota Voxy and Noah.
The new Innova, however, will be very different and distinct from anything currently on Toyota’s roster. The 560B, as it is called internally, is likely to measure around 4.7m long, making it slightly shorter than the Crysta. It, however, should easily be more space efficient. To be built on a longer 2,850mm wheelbase, it will have more space between the wheels, and though the Crysta is wider, the new GA-C platform and body structure will enable it to have more vertically aligned C pillars, thus opening up more space on the inside.
Next-gen Innova: to be powered by an efficient hybrid; no diesel
The advantages gained by moving to a monocoque chassis are myriad. To begin with, the new Innova will be lighter by around 170kg without the heavy ladder frame. It will be more space efficient on the inside, as the ladder frame normally eats up vital space near the floor, and then with less weight to push around, you can expect superior performance and efficiency. Likely to be powered by a 2.0 hybrid, and possibly a localised version of the updated THS II (Toyota Hybrid System II), it could deliver lower running costs than a diesel. This new hybrid system is lighter, more efficient and comes with a twin-motor set-up, reconfigured to deliver both, high levels of efficiency as well as an increase in ‘step-off’ torque.
Next-gen Innova: will be very modern, inside and out
The new Innova will have a distinctive look. A bit more slab-sided than the current Innova, especially when viewed from the rear, it looks wide, tall and seems to make greater use of vertical space. The nose up front is flat, like an SUV, and then, like the Corolla Cross also built on the same platform, it has slender, peeled-back headlamps and comes with a high-mounted grille. The grille isn’t quite as large as that on the Corolla Cross, and it interestingly has a distinct bumper and chin, but expect it to have a very strong Toyota as well as Innova identity.
Monocoque body allows for better use of space; Ottoman seats could be a part of package.
Also of note is the fact that while most GA-C MPVs have sliding doors, the new Innova spotted on test seems to have regular doors, something Indian customers seem to prefer. On the inside, expect a layout similar to MPVs based on the GA-C platform, with all manner of up-to-date kit. This includes connected tech, cooled seats, wireless charging, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and even delight features like reclining captain’s seats with an ottoman function for ‘lazy boy’ levels of comfort, where you can relax with your feet up.
Next-gen Innova: what’s in a name
Like the Innova Crysta, the new Innova will come with a double-barrel name. Likely to see the light of day around Diwali, it will be a bit more affordable than the Crysta and is slated to be a high-volume car. With an estimated production run of 5,600 MPVs a month, the new Innova is likely to eventually replace the Crysta, and Toyota hopes it will appeal to an all-new type of buyer who sees it more as a family car rather than a commercial proposition.