February 13, 2003
Toyota unveils Echo hatchback for Canada only
Toronto, Ontario – Toyota Canada unveiled a prototype of its new 2004 Echo hatchback model on Wednesday, a car that will be sold in Canada but not in the United States.
The new Echo Hatchback is based on the Yaris, one of Toyota’s best-selling vehicles in Europe and Japan. The Echo Hatchback, which will be sold in both 3-door and 5-door bodystyles, will go on sale this summer.
“Canadians have been clamouring for a Toyota hatchback and I’m delighted that we’ve found a way to bring it to them in such great style,” said Ken Tomikawa, President of Toyota Canada. “The fact that the Yaris is built on the Echo platform allowed us to draw on all the best features of both cars.”
The Echo hatchback has the same powertrain as the Echo sedan and coupe, a 1.5 litre 4-cylinder, DOHC engine that produces 108 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 105 lb/ft of torque at 4,200 rpm. It’s also equipped with Toyota’s advanced Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i). The engine is linked to a standard 5-speed manual transmission or optional electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission.
Like Echo sedans, the Echo Hatchback’s front suspension uses MacPherson struts
with offset coil springs in the front, however the rear suspension, which uses a
torsion beam with low-mounted coil springs, was reconfigured to suit the
“We’re not prepared to talk specifically about price for the Echo Hatchback just yet, but I can tell you we’re sharpening our pencils,” said Tomikawa. “We want to attract buyers we’re not reaching right now – singles, young families, people who may be buying their first new car. The young and the young-at-heart who appreciate great style as well as great value. That’s a very big group of Canadians, and they deserve a car that’s great to look at, fun to drive, and made with uncompromising Toyota quality in every detail.”