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Monday, 19 August 2013

Toyota In Interesting Yaris Shocker!!

Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept
Akio Toyoda is exactly what Japan's biggest car company needed. First he commissions a sports car that turns into the GT86/BRZ, then he decrees that Toyota enters Le Mans with an Audi-bothering hybrid LMP1 car, and all the while his Gazoo Racing Team (GRMN) has been giving us bonkers concepts and was racing the Lexus LFA at the Nürburgring 24H before it was even finished. And now we have this, the Yaris Hybrid-R Concept.

Yeah yeah, they've taken a Yaris Hybrid (mega-yawn...) and put a flashy over-the-top bodykit on it that you might see on an overpriced Limited Edition production car and that's it. Right? I mean, that's all they're really doing with their actual sports car, the GT86. Just a body-kitted TRD version for an extra £5k and lots of disappointing styling concepts. They wouldn't make the concept that's actually interesting a Yaris, would they?

Well, you'd be wrong to think that. The Yaris you see sketched above (when does a sketch just become a drawing/rendering?) is All-Wheel-Drive, has technology lifted straight out of the TS030 Hybrid LMP1, a Track Mode and over 400 horsepower. More than twice the power of the 86 in a car half the size! Well, sort of half the size. OK, not really...

Basically, up front is a 1.6-litre "Global Race Engine (GRE)" powering the front wheels like you'd expect, but then at the back is a super-capacitor just like the one in the TS030, which powers a pair of electric motors driving the rear wheels. Like a back-to-front Audi R18 e-tron quattro, the two can combine to make it All-Wheel-Drive. The power outputs of each element haven't been announced yet, mostly because the car itself won't be unveiled until the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, which is in Frankfurt. If the hybrid system really is straight out of this year's runner up at Le Mans then electric thrust is responsible for a full 300 of those horsepowers, and internal combustion is only doing a quarter of the work. Technology, eh?

The thing is that this car with its Track Mode and being a Yaris that's actually capable of holding one's attention for more than 30 seconds isn't making it into production. But it's going to be a working car, so see what magazines make of it! More importantly though, this technology is being considered as a way to finally jazz up the GT86. If they can continue leaving that poor neglected mostly-Subaru engine alone but add 150bhp with one of these two electric motors giving it the mid-range torque some Toyobaru drivers desperately crave, then they'll be happy and so will car enthusiasts capable of getting over the word "Hybrid" being on the back of a sports coupé. On top of that, Toyota say the 1.6 GRE will be testing in a rally car soon. So maybe it does make more than 100 horepower.

Alternatively, it could be something we might see on their upcoming Mk.V Supra, which word on the street says is going to be a collaboration with BMW. Well, would you expect Toyota to be able to make a proper sports car on their own? I'm pretty sure that's what the FWD Celica was...

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