Toyota is selling its first “minicar” in Japan as demand increases for the tiny vehicles which are popular for short commutes.
Such tiny cars — known as Kei-class vehicles — have become increasingly popular in Japan and now generate about a third of all new car sales there, the Associated Press reported from Tokyo.
The company said that the new Pixis Space has been designed to meet the needs of car-buyers in Japan and will be sold through more than 200 Toyota dealerships nationwide.
The Pixis Space will sell for 1.12 million yen ($14,670) and has a fuel economy of 25.5 kilometers per liter, the Toyota City, Japan-based company said in a statement.
With the exception of the Custom RS that is powered by a more powerful 660c turbocharged engine, the rest of the lineup is offered with a naturally aspirated 660cc gasoline unit.
All models adopt a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and are offered with either front- or all-wheel drive. It is, however, quite small, with a wheelbase of 98-inches – roughly two feet more than a Smart fortwo.
Toyota was the only Japanese carmaker without 660cc minivehicles, leaving them to subsidiary Daihatsu Motor Co, which along with Suzuki Motor Corp controls about two-thirds of that market. The Pixis Space will be assembled at Daihatsu’s factory in Kyushu.