The New Aygo - Toyota Steps Up The Fun Factor For Its All-New City Car
On Mar 12 2014 05:54:28
The new Aygo, revealed this week at the Geneva motor show, is another example of Toyota’s commitment to build ever-better cars that catch the eye and are genuinely fun to drive. A distinctive and characterful design – dubbed “J-Playful” in reference to Japan’s hip youth culture – and a wealth of customisation options show how Toyota has made fun a key element in crafting its new city car.
At the same time new Aygo builds on the qualities that made the original such a success throughout its lifetime, keeping the car compact, nimble and reliable, with genuinely low running costs. The latter are supported by revision to its award-winning three-cylinder 1.0-litre VVT-i petrol engine to secure class-leading fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
Full details of the South African model range and prices will be announced nearer the on-sale date later this year.
Compact packaging was fundamental to the design of the new Aygo to maintain its town-friendly handling. The overall length has increased by just 25mm to 3,455mm, which means it keeps the class-leading compactness of the previous model, and although front headroom has been increased by 7mm, vehicle height has actually been reduced by 5mm to 1,460mm, supporting the car’s aerodynamic efficiency. Both front and rear tracks have been widened by 8mm.
New Aygo may be compact and characterful in appearance, but it’s robust and has real street presence too. Its solidity comes from a strong form which gives the design its core volume. But, to introduce a playful element, the designers used the concept of a soft object breaking through the hard shell of the design, creating break lines and giving Aygo its distinctive frontal X-graphic. This spreads outwards across the surface of the bodywork, and takes in all the vehicle’s main external features, including upper and lower grilles, headlamps, foglamps, and even mirrors and side glazing.
In profile, the roof has been lowered and the front header moved forwards. As a result, the cabin’s centre of gravity also shifts to the front, creating a more balanced and forward leaning posture. This is further emphasised by a sloping beltline which terminates in the forward leaning rear light clusters. The roof itself has a new pagoda-style profile and an integral rear spoiler. The shape of the side-glazing differs between the three and five-door models, the latter extending its window graphic into the rear light clusters, giving an impression of extra length.
The rear end displays a similar design theme to the front, with the tailgate and lower bumper forming break lines in the vehicle’s solid surface. The lamp clusters are set within the hexagonal tailgate, and the upper bumper section widens into pronounced wheel arches which give the car a broad and stable stance.
The shape of the centre console – trapezoidal – sets the theme for new Aygo’s interior and is reflected in details such as the air vents, door trims and gear shift surround. The console supports a wide dashboard with a matt, anti-glare finish, set between slim A-pillars. The new instrumentation features a meter made of up concentric rings which are permanently lit. It incorporates an easy-to-read central multi-information display.
Although the wheelbase is unchanged at 2,340mm, the cabin is longer by 9mm. Wider armrests also improve comfort. There’s more room for luggage as well – an extra 29 litres – and loading is easier thanks to the space between the sill and rear seatback being made 5mm wider.
New Aygo will be launched in Europe with a wealth of customisation options that will allow customers to create a car that’s truly individual. On the outside the X-shaped front grille, rear bumper insert, enhanced front bumper and alloy wheels can all be specified to suit, while in the cabin the instrument panel, centre console, air vents, shift knob and gear lever surround can easily be changed, even after years of ownership.
To make life simpler, however, customers can also choose from a range of exterior and interior styling packs if they prefer, rather than selecting piece-by-piece customisation. For the South African market, customisation options will be kept to a minimum in order to keep the sticker price as affordable as possible.
Multimedia x-touch system
New Aygo will be available with Toyota’s new x-touch multimedia system, operated using a fully integrated seven-inch touchscreen. It’s the first system in its segment to come with a rear view camera as standard. (Please note that equipment for the SA-specced Aygo will be confirmed closer to launch).
New Aygo features a comprehensively revised version of Toyota’s award-winning three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine. The unit has been re-engineered to run with a higher, 11.5:1 compression ratio, and has an improved combustion chamber design for better efficiency. Friction losses have also been reduced, notably by using a new low-friction timing chain. And although it’s still one of the lightest engines on the market, more weight has been saved by introducing a cylinder head with a built-in exhaust manifold.
There’s more power and torque: 51kW at 6,000rpm and 95Nm at 4,300rpm; 85Nm of torque is available from as low as 2,000rpm. The newcomer will be offered with a five-speed manual transmission as standard. Some international markets will also get the optional new x-shift, an automated manual transmission that can be used in fully automatic mode, or with manual gear selection using paddle shifts or the shift lever itself.
In making all these improvements, Toyota has been careful not to sacrifice the engine’s famous sprightly character. It will still rev happily to high speeds and although sound insulation has been improved, its sporty note is still there when pushed hard.
Extensive work has been done to improve aerodynamics, resulting in an improved drag coefficient – down from Cd 0.30 to 0.29.
Together these changes reduce combined cycle fuel consumption from 4,4 litres/100km to just 4.1 litres/100km* and bring CO2 emissions down to 95g/km*, below the 100g/km threshold for annual road tax (VED) exemption.
* European figures provisional prior to final homologation.