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Toyota at the London motor show 2008

Wed, 23 Jul 2008 00:00:00 -0700

By James Foxall and CAR reader reporter Sandy T

Motor Shows

23 July 2008 13:01

With a massive 18-car product offensive planned for 2009, Toyota should have been one of the stars of this year's London show. But there's a clue in the timing; 2008 is a quiet year for Toyota, with a lull before next year's storm of new models.

What’s new on Toyota’s London motor show stand?

Disappointingly, concept cars from previous events aside, there are just three new models on show in ExceL. The Urban Cruiser (great name in Britain? Hardly!) due in spring 2009 and the iQ city car were the future production stars, while the one-off MR2-based Aygo Crazy with its steroid-injected bodywork and turbocharged MR2 engine will appeal to the boy racers.

CAR’s Toyota highlight

Considering it’s a Toyota, the Urban Cruiser is quite a funky-looking little thing. Yaris-based, it’s aimed at buyers of the now defunct three-door Mk1 RAV4. It goes on sale over here in the first quarter of 2009.

What were they thinking?

The successor to the Avensis will be built at the firm’s British factory near Derby. Which begs the question: why wasn’t it unveiled at the British motor show? The answer? It’s not because it’s not ready. It’s because Toyota is keeping its powder dry until the Paris motor show in September 2008.

In a nutshell

An average effort from the Japanese firm. It could all have been so much better.

To read CAR's reader
reporter's verdict
on the Toyota stand,
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By James Foxall and CAR reader reporter Sandy T