It’s been nearly a year since we revealed the Yaris Hybrid concept at the 2011 Geneva motor show. The ten months that followed were some of the most exciting in Yaris’ history, from the launch of a brand new generation of the super-smart supermini to the two-millionth Yaris in Europe rolling off the production line.
But now, Yaris comes of age. Here we reveal the first pictures of Toyota’s newest – and smallest – hybrid ahead of its public debut at the 2012 Geneva motor show in March.
Yaris Hybrid brings together the ingenious packaging and agile handling of Yaris with the high efficiency and refined driving experience of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain in the first full hybrid supermini to be sold in Europe. Built at Toyota’s Valenciennes plant alongside the rest of the Yaris range, Yaris Hybrid follows the launch of Auris Hybrid in 2010 as the second core Toyota model to feature full hybrid technology (after Prius).
As the new flagship of the Yaris range, it shares the same new-design “face” of Toyota as its conventionally powered sister models, but places priority on aerodynamic efficiency.
Toyota has downsized its Hybrid Synergy Drive for Yaris, combining a new 1.5-litre petrol engine with a more compact electric motor, transaxle, inverter and battery pack. The result is a system that is 20 per cent lighter than that used in Auris Hybrid.
Thanks to all the key HSD components being reduced in size, and the location of the fuel tank and hybrid battery under the rear seat, Yaris Hybrid offers the same occupant space and 286-litre luggage capacity as conventional petrol and diesel Yaris models.
The highly efficient 98bhp (74kW) powertrain will deliver a segment-leading balance of performance and CO2 emissions. Drivers will also be able to make use of drive modes that create zero NOx, particulate and CO2 tailpipe emissions.
Automatic air conditioning and e-CVT automatic transmission are fitted as standard, signalling that customers do not have to compromise on comfort in order to achieve low emissions performance.
Further details about Yaris Hybrid will be revealed closer to the launch date.
Update, 06 February 2012: new images added of the compact Hybrid Synergy Drive system – to view our Yaris Hybrid online photo gallery, click here.