Toyota and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen will share a single body design for the 8,000 car they will build together in the Czech Republic starting in 2005.
Individual touches will be added by the three brands, Peugeot, Citroen and Toyota, through exterior design details.
The small car's exterior styling is not yet frozen.
'We are still working on it, in competition with the PSA studios,' said Shuhei Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Europe in Brussels. 'At Toyota, design proposals from our studios in Europe, Japan and the USA are still in competition for this project.'
The car's interior will be designed in France, according to a source at PSA's group design studio in Carrières-sous-Poissy, near Paris.
The small Toyota-PSA car will be based on a new platform still being developed in Japan. Toyota is leading development of the platform. It will include details from the ES3 concept car first shown at the 2001 Frankfurt auto show.
The ES3, which can achieve a fuel economy of 2.7 liters per 100km, has an aluminum body structure and composite panels. Seven ES3 vehicles have been built.
'It won't go into production,' a Toyota spokesman said.
But Shuhei Toyoda said 'elements of ES3 will be used for the Toyota-PSA small car.'
He also said that the Toyota-PSA small car platform is flexible and will be used for other small cars, including the next-generation Yaris.