Toyota Considering a Corolla-Based Small Pickup to Rival Ford Maverick: Report
A Corolla-based pickup could actually make sense given America’s newfound appetite for small trucks.
You didn't read that wrong, Toyota could be looking into building a Corolla-based pickup as it expands its lineup, according to Automotive News. And while it might sound absurd to have "Corolla" and "pickup" in the same sentence, it actually makes some sense, given the rapid growth of the compact truck segment.
Given the popularity of the Ford Maverick, Hyundai Santa Cruz, and the new Ram Rampage (which is coming to the U.S. market), it's no surprise that Toyota wants its own baby pickup. Especially since the Toyota Tacoma was once king of small utilitarian trucks. It's since grown to fill mid-size shoes.
Both the Maverick and Santa Cruz are based on each brand's small flexible front-wheel drive unibody platform, rather than a larger body-on-frame truck chassis. So Toyota would use the same platform as the Corolla and Corolla Cross. When equipped with their respective towing packages, the Maverick is capable of towing 4,000 lbs and the Santa Cruz can tow 5,000 lbs, but the Corolla Cross is only capable of 1,500 lbs. So expect some beefing up of that chassis if Toyota wants to make a competitive hauler.
The Corolla is built Mississippi, and the Corolla Cross is built in Alabama, so if a Corolla-based pickup does end up hitting the market, it should be built here in the 'States.
If such reports are true, Toyota's upcoming product expansion isn't going to be limited to a Corolla-based pickup. There's also said to be a three-row electric SUV—which would be sold alongside the gas-powered Grand Highlander—an electric alternative to the Camry, and a crossover based on the new Toyota Crown.
Compact pickups are in right now and, with the longstanding popularity of the Tacoma, a Corolla-based utility vehicle could be a big hit for Toyota, as odd as such a thing might sound.
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