By: IOL Motoring Staff

Toyota has thrown caution to the wind with the design of its all-new Aygo.

Though it again shares its underpinnings with the Citroën C1 and Peugeot's mini car - now the 108 - the Toyota has a far more unique design and it sure is daring.

Toyota refers to the design as "J-Playful" as it was inspired by Japan's hip youth culture. The aim was to create the impression of a soft object breaking through a hard shell, that being the x-graphic that extends across the front end and the various black surfaces at the back end.

To allow its youthful customers to express their own creativity, the Aygo will be offered with a glut of customisation options for both the exterior and cabin. In fact, the instrument panel, centre console, air vents, shift knob and gearlever surround can all be changed rather easily, even after the car has been bought.

In keeping with the times, the Aygo will be available with Toyota's x-touch infotainment system, linked to a seven-inch touch-screen that also incorporates a reverse camera.

The new Aygo hasn't grown much in terms of size, with length increasing by 25mm to 3455mm and width by 8mm. Yet despite the wheelbase remaining unchanged, at 2340mm, and the height being reduced by 5mm, Toyota has managed to make the cabin longer and improve headroom.

Under its stubby bonnet lies an extensively improved version of Toyota's familiar 1-litre, three-cylinder engine. Not only does it have more urge (51kW and 95Nm) but it's also more efficient, returning 4.1 l/100km on the combined cycle and emitting just 95 g/km of CO2.

The engine can be mated to either a five-speed manual or x-shift automated manual transmission.

The new Aygo is on its way to South Africa, although exact timing has yet to be confirmed. Toyota SA says it's likely to hit our shores towards the end of 2014.