Our spies captured this heavily disguised prototype testing in the deserts of the American southwest, signaling that Toyota is preparing to wade into the Nissan Juke's space by offering a tiny, but very heavily styled crossover of its own. Our spy photographers call the cute ute's look "aggressive," citing inspiration from the Toyota C-HR concept from the 2014 Paris Motor Show. Based on the meaty wheels and tires and what we can see through the camo, we're inclined to agree with their assessment.
Underneath that sheet metal, we're told the new car rides on Toyota's new NGA platform. Like the Juke, a four-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission will be on offer, although there's no telling whether Toyota will follow its rival's enthusiast beat and offer a six-speed manual version. What we find most interesting about all of this conjecture, though, is what it means for Scion, rather than its parent.
Introducing a small crossover is the next logical step for Toyota's troubled sub-brand, and would serve as a delectable followup to the recently released iA sedan and iM hatch. Such a three-model lineup, when combined with the enthusiast-oriented FR-S, would transform Scion into a force to be reckoned with in the entry level space. Supporting this conjecture isn't too hard, either. As the spy photos show, this camo'd tester is being supported by a xB, the closest thing Scion (or its parent company, for that matter) have to a sub-compact CUV.
It's unclear just when this new model will make its debut, but if Toyota hopes to make inroads into this popular new segment, this CUV will need to arrive before its extremely competent rivals can establish a solid foothold.