Posts Tagged ‘yaris’

Toyota Bringing 15 New Concepts to the 2014 SEMA Show

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

The Specialty Equipment Market Association’s (SEMA) annual motor show is always a great place for automakers to show off their latest and greatest aftermarket innovations. With the show opening doors later next week, automakers have begun building hype for the new cars they’ll showcase at the event.

Toyota in particular looks to make a big impact at this year’s SEMA show. If you’ve been following Toyota’s newsroom for the past 24 hours, then you’ve been under a constant assault of press about all the new cars and concepts that Toyota plans to bring to the show. And remember, these new concepts come in addition to the Scion iM Concept that we’ll see towards the end of next month in LA.

We have a lot of concepts to get through, so let’s get to it!

2015 TRD Pro Trucks for Baja 1000 Race

2015 TRD Tacoma

Toyota will bring their trio of specially augmented TRD Pro trucks to the motor show, which will be competing (sort of) in the 47th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, which is a notoriously treacherous 1,000 mile-long desert race. We have the TRD Tacoma pictured above, and the TRD 4Runner pictured below.

2015 TRD 4Runner

We say the TRD Pro trucks will “sort of” compete in the Baja 1000 because technically these will be chase trucks, which means they’ll follow the primary race car – the Tundra TRD Pro Desert Race Truck – and help make repairs/support the driver when needed. Still, it’s a grueling task that the TRD Pro Tacoma, 4Runner and Tundra will face together next year.

New Toyota FT-1 Concept

2015 Toyota FT-1 Concept

We’ve already seen the first Toyota FT-1 Concept make its rounds through most of the major auto shows throughout the year. So, Toyota’s brining a fresh iteration of the sports car to the SEMA event. Whereas previous versions have been depicted in a bold black and red, the SEMA car will come in a subtler and classier graphite and saddle color palette. Not much more to say about this one, but it sure looks cool.

DUB Edition Sienna & Yaris

2015 Toyota Yaris DUB Edition

In collaboration with DUB Magazine, Toyota will bring a specially augmented wide-body Yaris and Sienna to the SEMA event next month.

2015 Toyota Sienna DUB Edition

Noteworthy modifications to the DUB Editions include, obviously, the wide fender flares that make the cars appear so much stockier. You’ll also find a lowered suspension, TRD Big Brakes, a custom paintjob outside, and lux carbon fiber accents with all-around better materials for the interiors. You’ll also find a booming DUB audio package, which includes 12 speakers and six amps in the Yaris, and half that for the DUB Sienna.

Mobile DJ Sienna:Remix

2015 Toyota Sienna Remix

As a fitting follow-up to the DUB Edition show cars, Toyota will also partner with West Coast Customs and SiriusXM to bring the well-named DJ Sienna to the SEMA show. As you can see, the car gets its name from the enormous sound system strapped to its roof. Housed in the system are four booming 12” subwoofers and 24 coaxial speakers with five amps and a bunch of other cool technology. There’s even a built-in DJ booth inside the Sienna:Remix with a direct plug-in system.

In other words, this really is a mobile DJ station… Made from a Sienna minivan. Who knew?

See all of these concepts and more at the 2014 SEMA Show which will open from November 4th to 7th next week.


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 & BMW to Partner on Two-Seat Hybrid Sports Car

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Toyota FT-1 Concept

All the way back at the end of 2011, Toyota and BMW announced a partnership that would help both brands further their fuel-cell, hybrid and lightweight technologies. Then, in 2012 the agreement was elaborated to include a new joint venture sports car. Finally, near the end of 2013 the two brands hinted that the venture would eventually yield a Z4 replacement for BMW and a Supra successor for Toyota.

Now, we’d originally expected to see the fruit of that agreement at the 2014 Detroit Motor Show, but Toyota gave us the FT-1 Concept instead. However, we now know that the FT-1 Concept may have struck closer to the Toyota-BMW agreement than we’d first thought… This is because AutoCar has just confirmed that the FT-1 bears striking similarities to the car the two brands eventually intend to produce.

First, though, let’s go back and look at which aspects of the future twin cars each brand intends to handle. Toyota plans to use their experience with the LMP1 sports car and the TS030 Le Mans prototype to develop a plug-in hybrid powertrain. BMW will reportedly be responsible for designing the chassis and body, and actually manufacturing the mechanics Toyota develops (engine, electric motors, etc.).

2014 BMW Z4

As you continue reading, though, do keep in mind that these are all still rumors at this point. Nonetheless, here’s everything else we know about the potential Z4/Supra successor:

Most of what we know revolves around the powertrain, since over the past six months Toyota has showcased some incredible new technologies in that department. Most notably, the new BMW-Toyota supercar is rumored to feature a front-engine, all-wheel drive configuration with a high-power hybrid system. In fact, it appears the car will feature technology very similar to what we saw in the Toyota Yaris Hybrid R last year in Frankfurt – a high-output, low-displacement direct-injection engine (the Yaris Hybrid R had 300hp with 1.6L) paired with three electric motors and supercapacitors instead of the typical lith-ion batteries.

In addition to the engine and motor configuration, the car is expected to utilize a sequential manual gearbox instead of a CVT, and lightweight technology as seen in BMW’s i3 and i8 sports cars. It will also use some of Toyota’s carbon fiber manufacturing technology that they perfected through the Lexus LFA supercar to simultaneously lighten and stiffen the car. Finally, driving mechanics will be perfected through Toyota’s torque vectoring control units.

Even though both hybrid supercars will feature the same underpinnings, it’s expected that Toyota and BMW will differentiate the specific exterior design. Personally, we hope that Toyota sticks pretty close to the FT-1 Concept, as that car looked spectacular.

Obviously, there’s a lot that we still don’t know about the potential BMW-Toyota supercar. We don’t know how much it will cost (although rumors put it in the six-figure range), what the exact powertrain numbers will be, or anything about its green technology. And we certainly don’t know when or where the car will make its debut. Having said that, we hope to get more concrete answers – if not a full preview – by the end of 2014.


Could TMG Be Toyota’s Future Performance Brand?

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

TMG logo

Performance cars have become quite popular lately, and as a result (or perhaps because of), more and more automakers are showing an increased interest in motor sports and track racing. Nissan NISMO is probably the best example right now, but that’s because Carlos Ghosn has a penchant for staying ahead of the curve.

According to a very interesting interview between AutoExpress and Toyota Europe Vice President Karl Schlicht, they are “currently discussing store lines for Toyota models”. In other words, Toyota wants their own performance marque.

Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R is “Just a Concept”

Toyota is certainly no stranger to motorsport performance. Even without their decades of experience from eons past (back before hybrids stole their focus), in the past few years we’ve seen the limited edition Lexus LFA supercar, the Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S, the Lexus LS Sports 650 Concept, and of course the Yaris Hybrid-R Concept.

Schlicht made it clear throughout the interview that they want to develop a lot more than just concepts and limited edition models in the future, although the Yaris Hybrid-R specifically may not ever see production. Nonetheless, he rightly claims that their customers have “an appetite for Toyota to do credible performance cars”. While the Yaris Hybrid-R likely won’t see production, the Lexus LS Sports 650 almost certainly will.

Why TMG?

Schlicht was very careful not to make any promises, especially regarding the Hybrid-R or its powertrain. However, it should be noted that throughout the Frankfurt Motor Show, Toyota was very careful to emphasize that their showcase concept was built using a powertrain configuration inherited from TMG’s TS030 Hybrid Le Mans racecar. So, this is clearly a powertrain that they want to put to use… Perhaps in the revival of their beloved Toyota Supra?

Incidentally, Toyota’s German performance arm, TMG, is also behind the development of the Lexus LS Sports 650. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.

It should be noted that Toyota technically already has a performance sub-brand in the Australia-based Toyota Racing Division (TRD). However, the TRD marque hasn’t been able to make waves in international markets. Plus, it’s pretty safe to say that Germany trumps Australia for most premium drivers.

What it All Means…

In the past year, we’ve had confirmation of a 2015 – 2016 hybrid supercar from all three major Japanese automakers (Toyota, Nissan, Honda). But, Toyota doesn’t want to make only one supercar — they’re ready to join the likes of Nissan NISMO and Mercedes-Benz AMG with their own performance oriented sub-brand, and it’s almost guaranteed to be TMG. Whatever the brand ends up being, it will be invigorating to see Toyota put their massive resources into the unbridled development of Japanese supercars and high-performance models. Hopefully we’ll learn more in the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show.

Until then, here’s a question for you… Would you rather see TMG develop track-tuned versions of Toyota and Lexus models already in production, or start from the ground up with completely new offerings? If you’d rather they tune up current models, then which ones?


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!


Here’s the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept Coming to Frankfurt

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, September 7th, 2013

Well, the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show is right around the corner, and it’s usually about this time when Toyota makes their attempt at nabbing an ‘I always have to have the last word’ final impression on the automotive blogosphere. So, it was no surprise when yesterday, just five days before doors open in Frankfurt, Toyota unveiled the full specs for their Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept.

As you continue reading, we’re going to discuss and recap what we know about the Hybrid-R Concept, as well as attempt to accurately set our expectations for the in-the-metal reveal next week. But first, here is one of the new pictures Toyota has released to go with their preview:

Toyota Yaris Hybrid R

What We Know About the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept

As far as we can tell, the primary goal of this most recent media kit really and truly was just to remind us what we’ve been waiting for. Aside from the new “live action” photographs (which we’ll go over in a moment), the press release itself is mostly focused on confirming the Global Racing Engine details we’d heard a week or two ago.

For those needing a reminder, we can expect a 300 hp 1.6L four-cylinder petrol engine with direct-injection and a turbocharger powering the front, while the two rear wheels each get a 60 hp electric motor, plus an additional non-drive 60hp motor in the center to help charge the super-dense capacitor.

The math whizzes will no doubt calculate that the Yaris Hybrid-R is capable of 420 hp when it’s in Track mode, which is incredible for a hybrid, and much more so for a hybrid hatchback. But, this new concept isn’t just a study in sheer power — Toyota wants it to showcase finesse and advanced technology, too. That’s why you’ll repeatedly hear how the Hybrid-R features a super capacitor, “just like in the TS030 HYBRID!”

So what’s Toyota trying to say with this Hybrid-R? Well, perhaps they’re sick of the taunts of the likes of Jeremy Clarkson saying that hybrids are boring and pointless. Perhaps they are thinking that to break into new areas of the automotive market, they are going to have to offer more than just economy. After all, a lot of Europe prefers diesels. But what if the instant on-tap torque of electric motors could be used to give the hybrid an extra performance kick? That’s exactly what Porsche, Ferrari and McLaren are doing with their hyper-exotica — the 918, LaFerrari and P1 respectively. If they can do it, why not Toyota, the grandfather of the hybrid world?

The Sportiest Hatchback You Ever Did See

In addition to reconfirming mechanical details, this newest preview of the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept also fills in the blanks on the aesthetic front, both from without and within.

As far as exterior design, we have a high-contrast silver-white paired with charcoal black and electric blue. We see a much more expressive front clip with a larger grill, redesigned headlights, and two large air intakes built into the fender. Along the side we see more prominent wheel wells with large 18-inch Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires for maximum versatility. From the rear. We see a large diffuser, a unique, customized spoiler, and the new Yaris Hybrid LED taillights.

Inside the Yaris Hybrid-R Concept, the carpet matches the drapes… We have black leather accented by blue Alcantara for a “racing inspired feel”. The shift lever is apparently kept deliberately close to the driver for easy gear-changes, and the steering wheel literally features a boost button – it’s how you tell the Hybrid-R that you want the capacitor to release it’s energy in either Road Mode or Track Mode.

It’s probably safe to say that this is the last full-fledged preview we’ll have before Frankfurt next week. Stay tuned tomorrow for a rundown of all the Japanese cars to look out for at the European motor show, and then next week we’ll dive into the on-site reveals.

Sources: Autoblog, Autocar


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