The new Toyota Yaris - known as the Vitz in Japan and the Echo in Australia
The car, already out in Japan under the "Vitz" name, will be launched in Cape Town in November.
Toyota SA executives are reluctant to reveal prices and models, but with the company has a wide range to choose from, starting with a 1-litre version powered by an advanced Daihatsu-sourced 1-litre three cylinder through 1.3-litre and 1.6-litre four cylinders, topped off by a 1.6-litre fitted with a variable transmission automatic.
Insiders say Toyota may also reveal a version with stop-start technology derived from that in its hybrid Prius and aimed at reducing fuel consumption, especially in thick traffic.
Using a Li-Ion battery/starter system implemented with the CVT, the stop-start system helps lower the Yaris fuel consumption to less than 5 litres/100 km in the 1.0-litre version.
Best petrol model
This is an 8.5% improvement over the previous version of the Yaris (released in 2003), and, according to Toyota, is the best petrol consumption in Japan, excluding mini-vehicles and hybrid vehicles.
The Yaris is the third-highest volume production Toyota model behind Corolla and Camry, with more than 2.5-million units sold in the past five years.
Based on the Toyota design theme, "Vibrant Clarity", the exterior design of the latest Yaris is said to evoke a sense of solid strength and vigour, while the interior offers simple elegance.
Generous cabin space and large luggage capacity have been simultaneously achieved inside compact exterior dimensions made possible by a newly developed platform.
There's a newly designed suspension and braking system, with good acceleration and a smooth driving feel from the new Super CVT-i (Continuously Variable Transmission-intelligent).
Seat structures that incorporate the WIL (Whiplash Injury Lessening) concept, designed to further reduce stress on the neck during low-speed impacts from the rear, are incorporated in the structural design of the front seats, achieving class leading levels of safety performance.
All front-wheel-drive vehicles achieve emission levels 75% lower than 2005 standards under the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport's Approval System for Low-emission Vehicles and boast fuel efficiency that exceeds by 5% the level called for by Japanese 2010 fuel efficiency standards.