Toyota showcased two concept MPVs at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, meant to preview the next-generation Toyota Noah and Toyota Voxy MPV. The concepts look pretty close to production, and they will appear in Japanese showrooms in early 2014.

Both the Noah and Voxy are essentially the same seven-seater MPV with different outlooks to suit different tastes, very much like the Alphard and the Vellfire duo. The new model has a wheelbase of 2,850 mm, 25 mm longer than the existing model’s 2,825 mm wheelbase.

Two powertrains are available – a 2.0 litre petrol engine as well as 1.8 litre hybrid system, probably similiar to the HSD system in the Prius. It would make the Noah and Voxy the first full hybrid MPVs in its segment. Welcab versions for those that require easier wheelchair access are available.

For the longest time, these tall MPVs have been exclusively for the Japanese market. However, because of their large interior space, the full-sized models such as the Toyota Alphard have ended up being very popular in the ASEAN region, mainly through parallel importers.

But recently, official distributors have started bringing in the smaller siblings of the Alphard class. Two of the Toyota Noah and Voxy’s segment competitors have been introduced in Malaysia this year – the Nissan Serena S-Hybrid and the Mazda Biante.

Will UMW Toyota consider bringing in the Noah or Voxy as a competitor against the Serena and Biante? It would not be the first time Toyota has done such a thing in ASEAN, although it hasn’t happened in Malaysia so far. The current generation Noah, which has been around since 2007, was introduced in Indonesia as the Toyota NAV1. Will this new Noah be introduced across more countries in ASEAN as the new NAV1?

GALLERY: Toyota Noah Concept

GALLERY: Toyota Voxy Concept