UPDATE: Toyota South Africa Motors has told CARmag.co.za it is "unable to confirm any more details at this point", adding “Toyota's product portfolio is vast and we are currently investigating a number of different models for local introduction, however we cannot confirm the specific details at this stage".

Toyota has whipped the covers off its new Corolla Cross in Thailand, describing the newcomer as a fresh-faced “compact SUV” forming part of its broader Corolla series.

While sales will commence immediately in Thailand, the Japanese firm says the new Corolla Cross will be launched in a “growing number of other markets going forward”.

Toyota says the Corolla nameplate (like the Yaris line) has “continued to evolve” in line with the needs of the times.

“By adding a new model to the Corolla series to suit the growing demand of SUVs, the enhanced Corolla line-up enables customers to select the model that better suits their diverse lifestyles and life stages,” the firm said.

Running on the TNGA (GA-C) platform with a wheelbase of 2 640 mm, the new Corolla Cross measures 4 460 mm long, 1 825 mm and 1 620 mm tall, which sees it slot in above the C-HR and below the RAV4.

In Thailand, the Corolla Cross is offered with a choice of two powertrains. The first is a naturally aspirated 1,8-litre petrol unit, delivering 103 kW and 177 N.m to the front axle via a continuously variable transmission. The second is a hybrid version of the same (detuned) four-cylinder unit, with a total system output of 90 kW.

Toyota claims the new model offers a “comfortable ride and outstanding quietness”, along with a “spacious cabin, easy entry into and exit from the car, class-leading luggage space [the company claims a figure of 487 litres when fitted with a puncture-repair kit and 440 litres when kitted out with a temporary spare wheel] and safety equipment inherited from the Corolla series”.

So, will the new Corolla Cross be offered here in South Africa? Well, we’ve posed the question to Toyota South Africa Motors and will update this story once we hear back. We’re also wondering whether this will turn out to be the mystery model the company plans to start building at its Prospecton plant in KwaZulu-Natal late in 2021...