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Toyota infotainment upgrade gets fast-tracked

Infotainment MAIN i

As Toyota executes “the fastest ramp-up that we’ve ever had for a multimedia system,” it will overhaul the electronics on the Corolla Cross subcompact crossover after just its first year on the market, and more nameplates will be upgraded in short order.

Between the Toyota and Lexus brands, the automaker expects 20 nameplates to be equipped with the new multimedia system this year. Toyota has plans to roll it out across both lineups over the next three years, though there could be “one or two niche vehicles” that take longer to equip.

“Normally, that would have taken us five to eight years to get this out, based on the remodel cycle,” Zack Hicks, chief digital officer of Toyota Motor North America, said during a media roundtable last week.

Toyota introduced the 2022 Corolla Cross late last year as it sought to woo budget-conscious buyers in an increasingly competitive segment. The automaker plans to release the 2023 model in the late summer or early fall.

Of the reworking of the Corolla Cross’ system, Toyota Motor North America sales head Bob Carter said: “It’s a major electrical and infotainment upgrade in year two.”

The freshening illustrates Toyota’s belief that its new Audio Multimedia infotainment system can be an asset as it looks to court new customers and retain existing ones.

The system, which made its debut on the 2022 Tundra pickup, features over-the-air update capabilities and a new navigation system, voice commands and other upgrades.


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