Yesterday, Toyota announced it would build a new SUV at its joint plant in Huntsville, Alabama. While the company was tight-lipped about the upcoming model, new details are starting to emerge.
According to Car & Driver, Toyota’s SUV will share a number of “components and suppliers” with Mazda’s SUV which will also be built at the $1.6 (£1.3 / €1.4) billion plant. However, the models will be unique and Mazda told the publication they will be “developed independently by each brand.”
In essence, Toyota’s SUV won’t be a rebadged version of Mazda’s SUV. This is an important distinction because the US-spec Toyota Yaris is effectively a Mazda2 with different logos.
While Mazda and Toyota confirmed the two models would share some components, they didn’t say much else about the crossovers. However, it’s believed Toyota’s SUV will be a production version of the FT-4X concept which was introduced at the 2017 New York Auto Show.
That remains unconfirmed, but it wouldn’t be too surprising as the FT-4X’s chief designer had previously said the concept was 75% percent production ready. Like the C-HR, the FT-4X rode on the TNGA platform but had a more spacious interior and all-wheel drive. The latter is important to note as Toyota officials have acknowledged the lack of all-wheel drive is hurting sales of the C-HR.
Mazda’s crossover is more mysterious, but the magazine believes it could be a new mid-sized model that might adopt the CX-7 moniker. If that’s the case, it would fit in between the CX-5 and CX-9.
The plant is slated to begin production in 2021 and the companies have previously said it will have the capacity to produce up to 300,000 vehicles annually. That capacity will be split between the two companies, so each to have the ability to crank out 150,000 units every year.