What Toyota and Lexus Brought to the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Honestly, we weren’t expecting any surprises from Toyota or Lexus at this week’s Frankfurt Motor Show.  Both Japanese automakers had already teased just about everything there was to tease about their new concepts – the Lexus LF-NX Concept and the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept. But, we were wrong.

Whether you’ve been keeping up with Frankfurt previews or this is your first time seeing any of these new concepts, keep reading to get the down-low on Toyota’s, and the world’s, first ever hybrid-only motor show stand. And yes, they did that deliberately because hybrids are “no longer niche,” but mainstream. Apparently, Didier Leroy of Toyota Europe predicts that 27% of cars sold in their market during 2013 will be hybrids.

Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept

First up, we have what is likely one of the most hyped vehicles prior to the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.  Which is odd, because it was our understanding that we weren’t going to see the full Yaris Hybrid-R Concept until the Tokyo Motor Show in November. But, always full of surprises, Toyota made their big debut ahead of time. So, the car you see above is the real-life Toyota Hybrid-R Concept.

The timing is the only surprising thing about the Yaris Hybrid-R Concept, though. Not because the car is boring, but because Toyota already spoiled everything about it…

We already knew that the Yaris-based concept would feature a total output of 420 horsepower.  We knew that the first 300 hp would come from a turbocharged, 1.6L four-cylinder gas engine up front, and that the remaining 120 hp would come from independently controlled 60 hp motors on each rear wheel. Then, another 60 hp motor sits in the middle of the Hybrid-R to collect and send power along to the same supercapacitor that’s found in the Toyota’s TS030 Endurance Championship racecar. We even knew that the super-tuned Yaris would sit on a quartet of 18-inch Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires.

So, not much new here, but you’ll still enjoy watching Toyota’s official promo video below:

Lexus LF-NX Concept

Next up we have the Lexus LF-NX Concept, made to compete with other compact crossover all-stars like the BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Mercedes GLA. As with the Yaris Hybrid-R, we already knew a lot of what there is to know about the LF-NX. But, here’s a recap with a couple new tidbits for your enjoyment:

We’ve already talked a lot about the design, so you can make your own opinions about that. Keep in mind, though, that the production model will be MUCH more toned down than the show car above. So, if it’s a little extreme for you as is, that’s alright, it’s purposeful. Instead of focusing on that, let’s go over some newly revealed/rumored technical details.

First up, the Lexus LF-NX will feature a “new variant of the Lexus Hybrid Drive system,” just like we’ve seen in the IS300h, but “tuned for SUV performance.” This fits perfectly with what we already knew, since Toyota trademarked the NX300h moniker at the beginning of 2013. It also makes sense with Lexus’ debut of the new GS 300h alongside the LF-NX in Frankfurt, too (we’re not going to discuss it, though, since it’s an old car with a new powertrain).

The LF-NX compact crossover will definitely be manufactured with FWD, but it may also be available with AWD in some countries. It also seems likely that the LF-NX will be manufactured on the same platform as the new RAV4. If you’d like to learn more about the Lexus LF-NX Concept, check out the premium crossover’s official promo video below:

Confirmation of Toyota GT86 Hybrid

This is where things are getting interesting… Apparently, the folks over at Autocar.co.uk got an exclusive interview with Koei Saga, one of the head honchos of Toyota’s drivetrain engineering division. According to him, a new Toyota GT86 Hybrid may be coming soon. Maybe even closer than you think; he says, “The development work is quite advanced now, so if the green light is given, we are ready to do it.”

Putting the Pieces Together

What’s really interesting about this news of a GT86 Hybrid is that it will be made with a compilation of drivetrain technologies that Toyota has already been used in… Get this… Production passenger cars and pure race-oriented hybrid systems. In other words, it’s very likely that the GT86 will feature powertrain technology nearly identical to that found in the Yaris Hybrid-R Concept! And now everything fits together, right?

All in all, an excellent hybrid-only showing from Toyota and Lexus at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. It was nice to see the Yaris come early (which means we’ll probably get some new car-candy for Tokyo), the LF-NX lived up to expectations, and the possibility of a new hybrid GT86 is absolutely titillating.

Stay tuned here for more Frankfurt coverage tomorrow, and until then, thanks for reading!

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