Toyota is believed to be working on a new sub-compact crossover to slot below the current C-HR, and it could start rolling down the assembly line before the end of the year – according to a new report.
Industry journal, Automotive News Europe, made mention of the rumours in a report detailing projected growth in Europe's ever-popular small SUV segment, which is currently dominated by the Renault Captur, Dacia Duster, and Peugeot 2008.
According to the publication the small SUV class saw a 37% increase in volume during 2018, with 1.83 million units sold, and that looks set to grow again.
The report adds that Toyota is "expected to add a small SUV at its plant in Valenciennes, France, either this year or early next".
Currently, the only model the Japanese automotive giant produces at its French facility is the Yaris light hatch. Further details are harder to come by, though given its positioning in the SUV line-up and potential manufacturing site, it's likely the new crossover will share components with the next-generation Yaris.
Pictured: Toyota C-HR
Expected to launch sometime over the next year, it's believed the Yaris will make. the switch to Toyota's New Global Architecture (TNGA), which already underpins everything from the Corolla and CH-R to the Camry and Kluger – in numerous variations, of course.
We'd wager the new model will also bring a host of new-age active safety and driver assistance technologies, and offer hybrid technology more broadly across the range.
Such a model would give Toyota a proper competitor to the smallest of SUVs in Europe, bridging the gap between entry-level passenger cars and higher-riding crossovers.
In terms of an Australian introduction, it's unclear whether this new model will be specific to the European market or offered as a global product. The reason that holds weight is because Toyota sources most of its product from Japan, with European models like the Corolla Touring Sports wagon, for instance, off the cards for us due to their exclusively European production schedule.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest, and let us know in the comments if you think Toyota has room in its line-up for a baby SUV.