This new GA-B platform will underpin a new generation of subcompacts.
Toyota just rolled out an all-new Yaris, based closely on the Mazda2. But it's not waiting around to get cracking on its next generation of subcompacts. And next time, it looks like it won't farm out its development.
What you're looking at is the GA-B platform, the latest version of the Toyota New Global Architecture that, in larger forms, is already underpinning everything from the Prius and Camry to RAV4 and C-HR. Only this one is smaller, designed to serve as the basis of a new generation of B-segment vehicles – "supermini" in British parlance, or "subcompact" here in America.
That, in terms of Toyota's current North American lineup, means the Yaris, which is a completely different (Mazda-based) model from the one it sells overseas in Europe and Asia. But it wouldn't come down only to the Yaris.
If Toyota were, for example, to slot a smaller crossover under the RAV4 and C-HR – and take on the likes of the Ford EcoSport, Chevy Trax, Honda HR-V, Nissan Kicks, et al – it'd likely ride on this platform. Ditto a little sports coupe or convertible to join the 86 and Supra. Tiny minivan? Yep, this is the platform. Next-gen Prius C? Right here.
Compared to the current Toyota B platform, the new GA-B architecture pushes the wheels further out to the extremities to the potential benefit of handling and interior space. It uses a MacPherson strut suspension with low-friction dampers at the front, and can accommodate either a torsion beam or multi-link setup at the back. The driver's seat is set further back and down for "a more engaging driving position," and it's modular with lower, adaptable hard points to allow for a wider variety of vehicles to be built upon it. So whatever Toyota wants to slot next into its small-car family, for any market around the world, the GA-B platform will be ready.