Toyota Etios Concept - Click above for high-res image gallery

It doesn't take a MENSA member to understand that small, inexpensive and reliable transportation is a big thing in India. On one side, you've got the diminutive Tata Nano. On the other, Honda's New Small Concept. And right in the middle is this: the Toyota Etios concept.

Due to be available in both four- and five-door variants, the Indian-market Etios is yet another inexpensive, easy to maintain runabout for India's burgeoning middle class. Amenities are minimal and so are the engine choices –a 1.2-liter in the hatch and a 1.5-liter in the sedan. But basic transport is each models reason for being, and when the Etios goes on sale in India later this year with a price well below $10,000. Toyota expects to sell around 70,000 units annually and plans to export the Etios in markets outside of India in the near future. But don't expect the either model to arrive in the States anytime soon. Hit the jump for the press release and thanks to Indianautosblog for the pics.

Related GalleryToyota Etios Concept

[Sources: Toyota; IndianAutosBlog | Live Images: Shrawan Raja]


PRESS RELEASE

Toyota Unveils Concept Version of New Compact Car for India

Tokyo-TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announces its production and sales subsidiary in India unveiled today-under the banner: "World First, India First"-a concept version of the "Etios*", a compact car newly developed specifically for the Indian market. Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private, Ltd. (TKM) is showing the concept car at the 10th Auto Expo automobile show in New Delhi, which runs until January 11.

The Etios is aimed at family users in India's rapidly growing automobile market. Reflecting its "one class above" theme, the Etios' styling evokes a sense of advanced status, and, along with a spacious interior with abundant storage space, it aims to offer both smooth and powerful driving and excellent fuel efficiency.

To make the car as affordable as possible for potential customers, thorough use of local parts will be pursued to keep costs low.

On display at the show are a sedan version with a newly developed 1.5-liter gasoline engine and a hatchback version with a newly developed 1.2-liter gasoline engine.

Etios chief engineer, Yoshinori Noritake, said at the show: "I visited many Indian cities and homes to learn the market and to hear from the consumer directly.

Over four years, more than 2,000 engineers have been involved in the development of the Etios, and each has devoted his or her best effort with no compromises. I am convinced in my heart that the Etios offers joy of ownership and quality of life to consumers in India."

TKM will produce the Etios from late 2010 at its second plant, which is now being built expressly for the new car.

Annual sales in India are set at 70,000 units. Exports are planned.

At the show, the TKM exhibit, with its key message of "Quality Revolution", comprises a total of 14 production and concept vehicles, including the third-generation "Prius" gasoline-electric hybrid passenger car, which is scheduled to go on sale in India in 2010, the "Prado" SUV recently unveiled for the Indian market, the "i-REAL" personal mobility vehicle and the "Fine-S" fuel-cell hybrid vehicle.