Posts Tagged ‘vitz’

US-Spec 2015 Toyota Yaris Revealed w/ Pricing & Pics

Posted by Stephen On Monday, July 28th, 2014

A couple months ago, Toyota unveiled the Euro-spec version of their facelifted 2015 Toyota Yaris (Vitz) hatchback. It was a great looking little car and we were excited for our European readers. However, we didn’t know whether the European model would make its way into the US, mostly because Toyota made a point of NOT naming it a global model.

Today we can finally put our worry to rest, as Toyota has finally confirmed that the Euro-spec Toyota Yaris will indeed make it into the US, albeit with some slight powertrain adjustments and different trim options.

In case you missed it the first time around, this is the new Toyota Yaris, now officially Euro-fied:

US 2015 Toyota Yaris

If you’re familiar with the 2014 Toyota Yaris, you’ll immediately notice what’s different – at least from the outside – about this new model. The front fascia has been completely and dramatically overhauled, complete with an X-shaped design, an enormous black mesh grille, a prominent front air intake all pulled together by a subtle chrome trim that flows between the LED headlights. The backend has seen some minor re-sculpting too, with restyled taillights to match the front.

What you probably won’t notice are the slight aerodynamic tweaks in the 2015MY Toyota Yaris. The body has been smoothed over for a lower drag coefficient, the suspension has been retuned and the body has been stiffened for all-around better handling.

2015 Toyota Yaris interior

Inside, the US-spec 2015 Toyota Yaris gets a much lusher interior with higher quality materials than those in the current model year. Even in these limited-view images you can see the classiness of this new interior. As you imagine yourself behind the wheel, remember that driver and passengers alike will enjoy a much quieter ride, too, as Toyota’s added new sound deadening material to stifle road noise. Plus, you’ll also find a reworked dashboard to make the drive more convenient and fun.

The only thing we’d change about the US-spec Toyota Yaris would be the engine availability. While European drivers will be able to choose between three different engines, the only option in the US will be a 1.5L four-cylinder with 106hp.

With all the new specs out of the way, let’s talk pricing.

The 2015 Toyota Yaris will start at $14,845 when it goes on sale sometime in the next couple months. For that price you’ll get the basic Toyota Yaris L trim, which comes with Entune infotainment through a 6.1-inch touchscreen display, plus AC, power windows, 60/40 fold-down rear seats and new sport-tuned Electric Power Steering for quick response.

The 2015 Toyota Yaris LE trim steps up the luxury with cruise control, keyless entry w/ engine immobilizer, restyled silver interior accents, steering wheel audio controls and, best of all, new 15-inch alloy wheels.

Finally, the sporty Toyota Yaris SE trim comes with all of the above plus new leather trim around the dash and custom fabric upholstery with glossy black accents. You’ll also enjoy projector headlamps, LED daytime running lights, a rear spoiler with an improved sport-tuned suspension (including large four-wheel disc brakes), and exclusive 16-inch gloss black alloys to match the SE’s interior style. Even with the highest trim with an automatic transmission, though, you still won’t pass $17,620.

Flawless 2011 Toyota Vitz up for Auction in Nagoya

Posted by Stephen On Friday, May 30th, 2014

Yesterday, I wrote about Toyota’s mid-generation makeover for the Yaris. So, after logging into the Integrity Exports online auction system, I selected “Toyota” then “Vitz” (the Japanese market name for the Yaris) and clicked search. Just a couple seconds later, 300+ different Vitz hatchbacks at auction in Japan popped up on the screen, ranging in model year from 1999 to 2013. But, one in particular caught my eye. Check it out below:

2011 Toyota Vitz Jewela front

What we have here is a near-mint condition 2011 Toyota Vitz, which puts this vehicle right at the beginning of the model’s third generation – the one that will be refreshed with the new Yaris makeover. This is the Jewela trim, which means it has as many features as you can get without going into the performance-oriented RS trim.

Really, what made me feature this particular Vitz over the many similar vehicles up for auction was this car’s incredible ratings. The overall rating is a 5, due largely to a near-flawless exterior, and the interior grade is an A – the highest you can get. If you look at the auction sheet at the bottom of this post, you’ll see that there are literally only two small scratches across the entirety of this car’s exterior. That’s very impressive, even if it hasn’t even been driven 11,000 kilometers.

Of course, with an A grade interior, this Vitz looks great from the inside too. Just check out the interior image below:

2011 Toyota Vitz Jewela interior

As you can see, this model comes with built-in navigation and a lovely two-tone copper and black interior color scheme. It also features power steering, power windows, and of course air conditioning.

There are a few noteworthy features that were introduced in the third-generation Toyota Vitz. For example, the lineup got an extra powertrain option in the form of a 1.3L four cylinder engine that’s claimed to be as efficient as the 1.0L engine option that you’ll find in the vehicle featured here. If you decide you want the upgraded engine, there is another 2011 Vitz up for auction with that powertrain, but we chose to feature this one for its stellar interior and exterior ratings.

In addition to the new engine, every third-generation Toyota Vitz comes with a single extra wide windshield wiper, an engine start-stop system, and perhaps most importantly, an incredible 62mpg fuel economy rating (3.8L/100km). With fuel economy like that, it’s no wonder that the Vitz continues to be such a popular city car in Japan and Europe.

If you’d like to learn more about this particular Toyota Vitz, you can either sign up for our 2-week free trial and check out the auctions for yourself, or you can continue reading for the auction sheet overview below:

2011 Toyota Vitz Jewela auction sheet

Here’s the translation. The minor A1 dents are really all that is wrong with this one:

“Interior A, first registered June 2011, DBA emissions code, FAT, 5-door hatchback, AC, service book, power steering, power windows, original TV, original navigation system, airbag, digital TV, rear view reversing camera, DVD playback and TV works while driving, SD, navigation lock card, minor scratches, A1 scratches on exterior paintwork, marks as per map”

Toyota Europe Reveals Facelifted Yaris Subcompact

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Toyota has just released first official photos of their new 2014 Toyota Yaris, facelifted especially for the European market. It was just about a month ago that Toyota Europe teased the new Yaris with a futuristic digital rendering, and we’re happy to say that the production version (pictured below) looks even better than the preview.

2014 Toyota Yaris Facelift

Let’s get this out of the way upfront: as of right now, this makeover is exclusively for the European market. A slightly more refined version will make it into the JDM Vitz, but this is a European car. You can’t blame Toyota for focusing on that market; the European compact segment is a nut they’ve wanted to crack for years now. The Yaris has done a good job so far, but this makeover looks to take it to the next level.

As you can see, a lot of this makeover has to do with the front clip and Toyota’s new “Keen Look & Under Priority” design concept. That means that this Yaris looks a lot like the new Aygo city car; it has the same cross-shaped bumper design with a visual separation between the hood and grille. You’ll also notice new door moldings and you can choose between four different 15- and 16-inch alloys. Meanwhile in the back, the new Yaris features a redesigned bumper complete with a diffuser, a sculpted license plate garnish, and new LED taillight clusters.

2014 Toyota Yaris Interior

Like any true makeover, the Toyota Yaris also gets a much more refined interior to go with its cleaner and more modern exterior. Toyota says that the inside of the new Yaris features “some important modifications aimed at improving driving pleasure and onboard comfort.” Later on in the press release, they revealed that most of the interior changes are in the materials used. But the makeover also includes more color options, more and better technology, and a more comfortable drive.

Speaking of driveability, Toyota has done some major tinkering with the suspension to make the new 2014 Yaris feel stronger on the road. They’ve also improved the soundproofing throughout the body to make those superior driving dynamics translate into even more interior comfort and fun.

The only thing that hasn’t changed in the newly facelifted Yaris is the powertrain. Toyota will continue to offer the same two petrol engines (1.0L & 1.33L) along with a 1.4L D-4D diesel or hybrid. However, the smallest of the three engines, the 1.0L petrol, has seen some major improvements to lower CO2 emissions down to 99g/km.

The Yaris as Part of Toyota’s Global Vision

In addition to the news of Toyota Europe’s facelifted Yaris, Toyota also announced that this new vehicle marks the start of a new vision for how Toyota develops new vehicles on an international scale. The strategy has been in the works since 2011 when Toyota president Akio Toyoda announced his Global Vision initiative which aims to meet global needs through regionalization.

Sound like a bunch of corporate talk?

Well, it is. But the basic point is that under Toyota’s Global Vision strategy, different regions will take on unique responsibilities for researching and developing new cars. For example, Toyota Europe will now take the leading role in planning compact cars. Why? Because those cars are the most relevant to their demographic. We can expect to see this trend of regionalized development continue as Toyota continues to grow in both size and market share.

Finally, you might say. After all, Japanese brands have struggled for years in Europe for being, basically, dull. With EU designers and engineers finally being given more control over their local product, expect to see more style and improved dynamics rather than Japanese corporate blah.

2015 Toyota Yaris Leaked Ahead of Official Debut

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, March 29th, 2014

As you may or may not already know, Toyota is expected to debut a newly facelifted version of their Yaris hatchback by the end of 2014 for the 2015MY. We didn’t plan on seeing any of the new updates until this summer at the earliest, but an Italian automotive blog was kind enough to upload several leaked images of the new car for us, taken from a Japanese brochure. Check it out below:

Leaked Toyota Yaris

Technically, these images depict the JDM Toyota Vitz, but Toyota has reportedly confirmed that the changes will make it into the European-spec Yaris. Nonetheless, it’s good to keep the images’ origins in mind – they came from a Japanese brochure, and they were intended for the Japanese market.

But, enough talk of origin and technicalities, let’s talk about what looks new in the 2015 Toyota Yaris. Here’s the 2014MY for the sake of comparison:

2014 Toyota Yaris Hatchback

As you can see, there aren’t any incredibly drastic changes, but they are noticeable. The most obvious changes can be found in the front clip, where the normal Yaris features a larger trapezoidal grille and darker, higher-contrast slanted headlights; it makes for an all-around more aggressive and distinctive design. The Yaris RS, which is the vehicle on the lower half of the leaked image, also gets the same headlight changes, but also gets a mesh X-grille – the same we saw on the new Toyota Aygo back at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show a few weeks ago.

Looking to the side and back of the leaked Yaris images, we see that the car has some new alloy wheels, and the rear bumper has been slightly re-sculpted to fit the more aggressive front-end. The taillights also look to share the headlights darkened, high-contrast design… But it’s hard to tell for sure from this angle.

All in all, these changes aren’t anything spectacularly new or progressive, but they will help keep the petrol/diesel versions of the Yaris in line with the Yaris Hybrid, stylewise.

Leaked Toyota Yaris Interior

A few more changes can be seen from the facelifted Yaris hatchback’s interior. Although the image is fairly grainy, we can see that the interior has a much more premium feel to it than the current model, without forgoing the car’s inherent simplicity.

The black leather upholstery with red stitching serves to elicit a high-performance feel from behind the wheel, a welcome change for Yaris drivers. The car also looks to receive a new, higher-resolution infotainment system with an updated touch-screen and dash. If you look closely, you can see that the steering wheel looks to have been integrated with the infotainment system with multi-function buttons, although we won’t know for certain until we can examine the real car more closely.

Unfortunately, we still don’t know when or where the new Toyota Yaris (or Vitz, as the case may be) will make its debut. We also don’t know where the updated versions will be available, although early sources indicate that the Yaris RS, at least, will not make it into the UK. Either way, we’ll be sure to keep you updated as we know more, so stay tuned and thanks for reading!

Toyota Reveals Hot Yaris Hybrid-R Concept With Mechanical Details

Posted by Stephen On Friday, August 30th, 2013

You’ll probably recall a couple of weeks ago when we first discussed Toyota’s Frankfurt-bound concept, the Hybrid-R. At the time, the only info we had to go on was a simple Hybrid-R logo, which, unsurprisingly, didn’t give us much fodder for speculation. Nonetheless, our theory was that the Hybrid-R Concept could possibly be the prequel to a Toyota Supra revival.

Unfortunately, that particular theory no longer seems such a likely explanation given the “Yaris” (Vitz in Japan) in the new concept’s name. However, as you continue reading, I think you’ll remain as enthused, if not more so, than if our theory had proven true. So, without further ado, here is the official Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept:

Yaris Hybrid R

What’s that, you say? Why would Toyota think that anyone in their right mind would want to drive a Yaris supercar?

Well, here’s the kicker: the once-drab three-door subcompact now features a total power output of 420 bhp! Even without exterior modifications (of which there are plenty), any car powered by a “high-density super capacitor” is enough to arouse even the most latent of automotive curiosities. And c’mon, 420 bhp!

Technically, the powertrain breakdown is as follows:

Up front, the Yaris Hybrid-R Concept features a turbocharged gas-powered 1.6 liter Global Race Engine with 300 bhp (FIA compliant, of course). In the rear, each back wheel is independently powered by a 60 bhp electric motor. Then just like in Toyota’s 2013 Le Mans race car, the TS030 Hybrid LMP1, you’ve got the 60-hp non-driving-motor generator and the super capacitor setup in the middle to rapidly harness power during deceleration, and then quickly deliver that power to the rear motors during bursts of acceleration.

Electric motors deliver instant torque at any RPM. Did I hear you say “yummy”?

Yaris Hybrid R powertrain

What’s really cool is that Toyota tailored the Hybrid-R Concept with both street driving and track driving in mind. So, depending on the mode you’re in, the capacitor will deliver a 10-second boost of approximately 80 bhp, or a 5-second boost of 120 bhp. And of course, the rear wheels receive different amounts of torque depending on road conditions and curve radius. With the high-power engine and intelligent driving capabilities, Toyota says that the Yaris Hybrid-R Concept could be made suitable for a number of different applications.

With the 16th anniversary of the Toyota Prius in mind, perhaps that broad spectrum of application is exactly what the Yaris Hybrid-R Concept is trying to prove. Toyota did say that the concept was, “created as a showcase for possible future hybrid development ideas,” and that they, “will have introduced a further 16 new or revised hybrid models” by the end of 2015. In fact, it seems reasonably likely that there will never actually be a Yaris Hybrid-R, and that the concept is purely for technology showcasing purposes. Either way, we’re excited and you should be too. We’ll get to see everything come September 10 at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.

And hey, maybe the Hybrid-R previews a new Toyota Supra after all? Anything’s possible! With a drivetrain like that on board, I don’t think there was be any complaining out there in Internetland.

Source: Autoblog & press release

Honda Fit Takes 2011 First Half Honors, Edging Out Toyota’s Prius

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Honda’s Fit is claiming top honors for new car sales in Japan for the first half of 2011. The addition of the hybrid version to the Fit family in October 2010, as well as Honda’s low-interest loans were the main reasons for its success according to analysts. Things would have looked even better for Honda if the earthquake back in March had not pushed back the introduction of the larger Fit Shuttle to June.

Although the Fit’s sales were down 2.1% over the same period in 2010, this was a very modest drop compared with Toyota’s Prius, which tumbled 51.1% and into second place in the rankings. To be fair, the Prius is obviously only available as a hybrid, whereas the Fit has a range of regular ICE models in addition to the hybrid.

There were some models in the top ten that actually increased sales over the same period last year, despite the affects of the earthquake disaster. The key factor in their success seems to be that all of them were upgraded at the end of 2010, according to analysts. Personally, I think it is interesting to note that each of these are small cars – some of them kei cars – which have had greater appeal in these difficult economic times. These models that made gains were Daihatsu’s Move (at number 3), Toyota’s Vitz (at number 5) and Honda’s Life (at number 9).

Toyota’s Prius took the sales crown for June, with numbers down 39% from the same month last year, but which represents a great fight back after seeing sales down about 80% in May. Honda’s Fit came in second, and Suzuki’s Wagon R in third.

In future months it will be interesting to see how the Prius minivan-type Prius Alpha, and also Honda’s Fit Shuttle impact these rankings.

Source: Nikkei (Japanese-language)