Toyota Europe has confirmed to Autoblog that the automaker's popular Highlander crossover will go on sale in Russia and the Ukraine for the first time ever. Why should Statesiders care? Because the new-look model above will be unveiled at the Moscow Motor Show on August 25, and it's almost certain to be the refreshed CUV that we will receive in North America.
From the looks of things, the 2011 Highlander will retain its strong body lines, but ditch the conservative front fascia of the 2010 model in favor of a leaner, more aggressive nose with angry looking headlamps. With appropriate helpings of chrome in all the right places, the new Highlander is downright handsome. As this is the only shot that we have, we don't know what's going on at the rear, but we would expect redesigned taillamps and perhaps some revamped trim. From what we can see, the Highlander's profile appears unchanged, save perhaps for a new wheel pattern and a very discreet set of turn signal repeaters in the mirrors.
While we have no confirmation that we will receive this same model, European officials believe that it will make it to North America with "more or less the same look." The Highlander is only built in three places at the moment – China, Japan and in Indiana, so it doesn't seem likely that Toyota would bother to develop new sheetmetal for select European markets without disbursing it elsewhere.
Unfortunately, we don't know too much about what's going on under that hood or in the cabin. So far, the only thing that Toyota Europe has confirmed with us is that the hybrid version of the Highlander won't be available in those markets. We'll just have to wait for details from the Moscow Motor Show for more information. Thanks for the tip, Mike!