The Toyota TGNA platform already underpins a wide variety of the company's cars and crossovers around the world, and now the automaker announces the new GA-B version specifically for compact vehicles. Its size slots below the existing GA-C variant that the C-HR and Corolla use.
Gallery: Toyota TGNA GA-B Platform
The GA-B supports variable wheelbase lengths and track widths so that designers have the freedom to create vehicles with different looks that share the same underpinnings. The platform uses a MacPherson strut front suspension and either a torsion beam or multi-link rear suspension, depending on which layout the company thinks is best for a model.
Toyota claims that vehicles on the GA-B platform should be engaging to drive because of the seating position near the center of the chassis and the steering wheel position. The wheels are at the far corners of the chassis, which allows for short body overhangs and maximizes interior space.
While the automaker's announcement makes no mention of it, there's a rather large battery where the rear seats would go. This suggests to us that Toyota intends to offer hybrid, possibly even PHEV, versions of these upcoming compact vehicles.
Toyota's announcement doesn't specify the vehicles that would use the GA-B platform. However, it's easy to imagine a future generation of the Yaris riding on these underpinnings.
Given the popularity of crossovers, don't rule out Toyota building a tiny utility vehicle on the GA-B chassis, too. As possible evidence of this intention, the company already confirms plans to build a yet-to-be-announced crossover at its joint venture factory with Mazda in Huntsville, Alabama. Rumors suggest this vehicle could be a production version of the rugged FT-4X concept.
TOYOTA ANNOUNCES NEW TNGA SMALL CAR PLATFORM
Toyota is extending the benefits of its TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) programme to small cars with announcement of a new GA-B platform.
The TNGA philosophy has already delivered a step-change in the ride, handling and design of a series of new models since its debut with the current generation Prius in 2015. The GA-C platform for compact cars has also subsequently been deployed for the C-HR crossover and the new, British-built Corolla, both of which have earned media and public acclaim for their agility, responsiveness and styling.
The concept has proved similarly effective in larger saloons and SUVs, including the new Camry and RAV4, both of which are underpinned by the GA-K platform. Now the focus is to elevate the design and driving performance of small cars with the GA-B platform.
Confident and natural
The GA-B platform, in common with all of Toyota’s TNGA vehicle platforms, is designed to deliver a drive that is confident and natural.
Several factors contribute to this, notably the engineering of a highly rigid underbody using advanced techniques to strengthen joints in the structure, while at the same time focusing on weight-saving and cost control.
The MacPherson strut front suspension features low-friction dampers and can accommodate different spring types. The platform allows for either torsion beam or multi-link rear suspension systems to be used, according to vehicle type and character.
The GA-B platform also positions the driver’s seat low and back towards the centre of the car, helping lower the vehicle’s centre of gravity. This also secures a more engaging driving position, together with a steering wheel that can be set close to the driver at an optimised angle.
Smart packaging and design freedom
The GA-B platform has been designed so that interior space can be maximised through smart packaging. The TNGA philosophy uses standardised components in out-of-sight areas, simplifying the vehicle design process without creating look-alike cars. Designers will have the freedom to give each new model a distinctive and individual look.
The hard points of the upper body and the driver’s hip-point are set low, so there is more scope to create vehicles that have a low height and wide stance. Positioning the wheels at the corners of the platform and very short overhangs add to the visual appeal this generates.
Combining a long wheelbase architecture and smart packaging ensures that interior space is not compromised, even with compact exterior dimensions.
The GA-B platform’s modular quality allows for it to be used with different vehicle wheelbase lengths, heights and track widths, giving designers and engineers the freedom create appealing new models of different sizes and body types.