The Toyota Motor Corp (TM) said on Thursday it has signed a multi-year deal with Chinese automaker SmartCara, a new name for the Chinese manufacturer’s all-new off-roader and smart SUV, to develop its all-wheel-drive, all-terrain vehicle, with a range of up to 350 miles.
The all-aluminum vehicle, dubbed the Smart Carana, will be launched in 2018 and cost around $100,000 (£78,000), and has a range that is expected to be up to 300 miles, Toyota said in a statement.
“The Smart Caranas all-wheeled platform will be powered by the all-electronic 4WD (All-Wheel Drive) platform developed by Toyota, and the all electric drivetrain will be developed by SmartCaranas all-autonomous technology,” the statement said.
“Through the alliance with SmartCaranoas, Toyota is advancing the SmartCarana’s all purpose capabilities and driving capabilities, while enhancing the value and performance of the Smartcarana platform.”
Toyota, which has a global presence in the US, UK and China, is building its new SmartCaravans for the market in the country, the first in the Asian market, in collaboration with Smartcaranas, a subsidiary of Chinese automaking giant BYD Group.
The first Smart Caranas SUV, the Smart Cab, launched in 2015 and has been sold in Japan and China.