Mrunal Manmay Dash

Toyota on Saturday revealed its Maruti Celerio-based hatchback for the South African market, called Toyota Vitz.

The hatchback is powered by a 1.0-litre petrol engine that makes 66 BHP of power and 89 Nm of torque. The engine is paired with either a 5-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic transmission.

The Toyota Vitz looks identical to the Celerio sold in India. Except for the Toyota badges, the car uses the same grille and headlamps. The 15-inch gloss black alloy wheels are also identical to the Indian version.

The Vitz is not the only Maruti-based model Toyota offers in South Africa. The carmaker also sells the Ertiga-based Rumion and the Starlet, which is a re-badged Maruti Baleno. All three models are manufactured in India under the Toyota-Suzuki partnership which exports overseas.

The trend started with Toyota introducing the previous-gen Baleno as the Toyota Starlet in South Africa and Toyota Glanza in India. The Glanza and Starlet were names of Toyota hatchbacks that were sold overseas in the 1990s and early 2000s.

As per an Autocar report, Maruti will get its first Toyota-supplied model this year in the form of an all-new MPV based on the Innova Hycross. Both brands will also see jointly developed EVs in future, with the first one coming in 2025 in the form of the production version of the Maruti eVX concept, which will also spawn a Toyota derivative.