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Next week’s Tokyo Auto Salon will see the unveiling of this sharp SUV concept: the Toyota ViRa, said to be conceived as a hybrid of the light Vitz (Yaris) hatch and the mid-sized Rav4 SUV.

The concept might ordinarily hint at another new styling direction for the Japanese carmaker, but before you go clamouring to drop a deposit with your local dealer, look closely at the logo on the ViRa’s black nameplates.

No, Toyota isn’t rebranding – that’s the logo for Toyota Industries Corporation, a subsidiary of the larger Toyota Group that is both the original precursor to the giant’s automotive arm and now a manufacturer of Toyota passenger and industrial vehicles.

It’s no surprise, then, that Toyota Industries Corporation has based its concept on the Yaris and the Rav4: it manufactures both vehicles under contract to the Toyota automotive brand.


As a concept, the Vira boasts a profile that is similar in concept to the shooting brake style, with a long bonnet, long wagon-like roofline and a three-door configuration.

Toyota Industries says its styling of the ViRa is intended to draw younger buyers, although there is more than enough traditional sports car styling here to get the attention of older enthusiasts. Those that are interested in coupe-like SUVs, that is.

And, as a styling exercise, the company has not revealed any mechanical or powertrain details for the ViRa concept. Given its Vitz and Rav4 roots, though, we might expect to find a front- or all-wheel-drive layout and a four-cylinder engine under the skin of this one.

Watch for the ViRa to debut at the Tokyo Auto Salon next week, but don’t expect to see this one in showrooms.

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