Tiny Toyota Yaris-based crossover in the works for Europe

Toyota wants to cash in on the popularity of SUV-like models across the pond.

More crossovers!

The rise of the crossover and SUV isn't a uniquely North American thing. No, around the world, car buyers are far more interested in gaining utility and a higher-riding vehicle than a traditional family sedan.

That makes Toyota's latest announcement no surprise. On Tuesday, the automaker announced it has a new crossover in the works based on the Toyota Yaris. Don't think of it as based on the Yaris us Americans know -- the automaker sells a vastly different model globally, based on a fresh platform. Here, we get a rebadged Mazda2. Because Americans also don't like tiny cars, which the Yaris absolutely is.

Anyway, the new model likely won't be a Yaris with higher ground clearance. In the announcement, the automaker's Executive Vice President for Europe, Matt Harrison, said the vehicle will be "an entirely new and distinctive B-SUV model with a compact, dynamic design and personality of its own." The B-segment comment means the Yaris-based crossover will compete directly with models such as the Hyundai Kona and Ford Puma in Europe.

Toyota wasn't ready to share finer details, but it's easy to imagine the new SUV sharing powertrains and other components with the standard Yaris. The company added the model's production name and launch date will come at a later date, but production will take place alongside the Yaris in France.

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