Days after Toyota unveiled the Corolla Cross back in June 2020, an independent artist fired up Photoshop to turn the compact crossover into this hypothetical pickup. Fast forward to August 2023, a new report from a reliable source states the imaginary truck might actually become a reality one day. Automotive News has it on good authority the Japanese brand is considering a small pickup based on the Corolla family of models.
The tone of the article suggests the project is still in its infancy and that a final decision has yet to be taken. Automotive News writes that a "Corolla-based pickup remains a possibility, but its appearance is a work in progress." Even if it gets the proverbial green light, AN projects the compact ute won't go on sale sooner than 2027. If the timeline is accurate, we'd reckon the utilitarian vehicle will be based on the next-generation Corolla rather than the current model.
A smaller truck would slot below the Hilux and allow Toyota to compete with the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz. Much like those trucks, a Corolla with a bed would have a unibody construction rather than a tougher ladder frame. AN anticipates it would be assembled in Mississippi USA alongside the regular Corolla while the Corolla Cross is manufactured in Alabama at the new factory co-owned with Mazda.
Toyota - Proyecto IMV0
Mind you, a workhorse-spec Corolla isn't the only cheaper and smaller Toyota pickup on the horizon. Late last year, the Japanese automotive giant showed the IMV 0 as a prototype for a light commercial vehicle that will go on sale around 2024. The single-cab truck had design cues from the Compact Cruiser EV concept on top of a body-on-frame setup. This truck has slimmer chances of reaching the United States since it'll be primarily for emerging markets.
As a final note, Toyota still sells a Land Cruiser pickup truck in Australia where the 40-year-old 70 Series has been updated for 2024.