Toyota expects a boost in Verso sales in Europe thanks to new BMW-sourced engine

Article by Anita Panait, on March 4, 2014

Toyota is expecting that the majority of future Verso sales in Europe will be versions powered by a BMW-sourced diesel engine, the 1.6 D-4D. Toyota is strengthening its diesel offerings in Europe where around half of new vehicles sold are diesel-powered.

"The new 1.6 D-4D will be by far the most popular engine in our Verso line-up," remarked Fabio Capano, Toyota Europe's product communications director.

"We plan to sell more than 25,000 a year." For 2014, Toyota expects to sell 44,000 Versos in its Europe, including Russia and Turkey, up from 39,320 units last year. Toyota used to offer 2.0-liter and a 2.2-liter diesel variants in the Verso. According to Capano, the European compact minivan segment is lorded by small diesels, with 1.6 variants being the best sellers. 

Toyota regards the diesel 1.6 Citroen C4 Picasso, 1.5 Renault Scenic, 1.6 Volkswagen Touran and 1.6 Ford C-Max as the main rivals for its Verso's 1.6-liter diesel variant.

Toyota produces the Verso at its Sakarya site in Turkey, while the 1.6-liter diesel engine is sourced from the BMW's Steyr facility in Austria. Capano noted that the BMW engines will only be installed in Versos sold in Europe. BMW also offers 1.6-liter engine in its 1 series compact hatchback and the outgoing Mini Cooper D.

Toyota, however, slightly modified the diesel engine for the Verso."Several key components, such as engine mounts, intake, cooling and fuel systems, had to be re-developed to ensure the mechanical marriage between the engine and the vehicle," remarked Mehmet Kilic, Toyota's project manager responsible for the Toyota/BMW engine integration project.

Toyota developed the Verso just for the European market, formally launching the current generation in 2013. It was Toyota’s full-scale project to infuse European-based Product Planning, Design, R&D and Purchasing right from the start. In fact, Toyota Motor Europe led the entire development process from design through engineering and to production.

The latest iteration of the version was penned by Toyota’s European design center in France – ED2. Compared to the previous model, the new Version has over 470 changed parts – of which 60 percent are visible and 40 percent pertains to related to driving dynamics and NVH. In this regard, the new Verso is indeed a comprehensive model mid-lifecycle update.

Designed to offer style, flexibility and comfort, the new Verso range is made to cater to the varied customer demands while representing outstanding value for money. Despite having compact exterior dimensions, the new Verso is spacious inside. It even boasts of one of the best seat couple distances in its class. Toyota’s Easy Flat seating system allows the new Verso to become a versatile multi-purpose vehicle.

Toyota has already sold over 700,000 units of the Verso since introducing the original model in 2002. The current model is produced at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey, accounting for about 40,000 units of sales since its 2013 launch.

Its success allowed Toyota to hike its share in the C-MPV segment to 4.6 percent. The new Verso builds on the current selection of 10 exterior colors as well as 16-inch and 17-inch alloy wheels, and is now available with the new Avantgarde Bronze paint. Also available is a set of new seven-spoke 16-inch alloy wheels and five-spoke 17-inch alloy rims finished in a darker, smoked silver.

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