Toyota announced that it will be extending the benefits of its Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) program to its smaller car models. The announcement does not specifically state which vehicle will be using this new platform, but the likely candidates are the current Toyota B platform users – the Vios and its stablemate the Yaris.
The TNGA platform is already in use for Toyota’s other vehicles like the upcoming all-new Corolla Altis and the current-generation Prius – both underpinned by the GA-C platform. The new GA-B platform, on the other hand, will be used for vehicles with transverse engines and front-wheel drive. The platform itself is made to be adaptable so that multiple designs can be fitted to it without the resulting vehicle looking like a copy.
The TNGA architecture has also been utilized in other Toyota vehicles such as the Camry and RAV4 which share the GA-K platform. Despite the body type and wheelbases being different, it goes to show that this global architecture is proven to work and can be adaptable.
Moving back to the GA-B platform, it will also be designed to fit more than one vehicle regardless of body type. Toyota has designed the GA-B platform to have a highly rigid structure, while at the same time focusing on weight saving and cost-efficiency. These characteristics are key in keeping costs low, while at the same time keeping the vehicles safe and priced competitively. Since its design is made to suit other vehicles, it is unknown if the platform itself will be able to support a hybrid drivetrain but photos from Toyota show that it could be a possibility. It's also unsure if there will be a small crossover derivative that will utilize this platform, as crossover vehicles have recently gone up in popularity.
The platform will also utilize a MacPherson strut front suspension and either a torsion beam or multi-link rear suspension. The chosen suspension layout will depend on what the company thinks is best for the vehicle. While the suspension choices are limited, it’s still unknown if Toyota will tweak the suspension to give better ride comfort and handling despite their inherent limitations.
The platform also features a lower driver seating position for a more sporty feel. Having the seating position lower also helps lower the center of gravity of the vehicle. A lower center of gravity also aids in improving the handling characteristics of a vehicle. It also gives the added bonus of a more engaging driving position.
Here’s to hoping that the new GA-B platform will come in the next-generation Vios and Yaris. Soon.