Toyota Aygo X Prologue set to reinvent the city car

If you thought city cars were boring, think again. Okay, at the moment the Aygo X Prologue is just a concept, but this is the look Toyota believes can grab it a larger slice of the city car market; especially as many manufacturers are walking away from the sector.

Interestingly, the Japanese carmaker is likely to keep it as a conventional petrol-powered vehicle, meaning it would have a lower price than baby electric cars.

The funky, and ever so slightly aggressive design illustrates how Toyota believes the new generation of A-segment city cars can morph into a something akin to a "baby crossover". There’s no denying the look is likely to appeal to a younger generation of buyers.

Sitting on 19-inch alloys, it resembles a Yaris on steroids. Taller than the Yaris, the Aygo X Prologue is also a little longer and taller than the current Aygo, at 3,700mm and 1,500mm respectively. Designers have also increased the wheelbase by 90mm to 2,340mm, which will obviously increase the interior space.

At the front of the Aygo X, the design of the nose is not a million miles away from that of the current Aygo; ditto the rear lights. Back at the front, and set lower to the ground, the large grille, fog lights and skid plate all build on a Aygo’s traditional hexagon design theme.

The concept also includes a number of design innovations, including a rear skid plate which incorporates a bicycle holder mount, plus the door mirror houses an "integrated action camera". Ok, they might not make the production version, but in this current world, who knows?

What’s unquestionable though is the ‘X’ — especially viewed from the side — is a much more athletic and chunkier interpretation of the current Aygo.

Affordability is likely to play a major part in the future success of the Aygo X. It’s likely to be powered by a conventional three-cylinder petrol engine, plus don’t rule out a version fitted with Toyota’s smallest hybrid powertrain. As for pricing? I wouldn’t be surprised if it ducks below the £14k mark.

Designed at the Toyota Design and Development Centre in the south of France, at the moment the Japanese team hasn’t yet officially confirmed that the X prologue is a preview of a production model. But it makes sense that it will enter production, albeit with a few subtle design tweaks. Firstly, Toyota recently admitted it was working on a new generation of city car, to be based on the same TNGA GA-B platform as the Yaris. The Aygo X Prologue meets that brief.

Secondly, concepts are, by their nature, rather extreme. So scale back the massively-wide flared wheelarches — which, there’s no denying, look spectacular — and replace the humungous wheels (they’re four inches larger than on the current car), and you pretty much have a car which could easily slip into full production.

“Everybody deserves a cool car,” Toyota Design and Development Centre president Ian Cartabiano said. “When I look at the Aygo X Prologue, I’m really proud to say the team have created exactly that. I’m excited to see it revolutionising the segment.”

And there’s a strong business case. Let’s not forget, the Aygo has been — since its launch back in 2005 — a consistently high seller in its sector across the whole of Europe. And as on-the-road car volumes continue to increase, so the demand for vehicles which can maximise the ever-shrinking availability of space in city centres will rise.

Don’t know about you, but it sounds like the perfect environment in which to launch a baby crossover city car.