The first full hybrid vehicle to go on sale in the European B-segment and the flagship of the Yaris model range, the new Yaris Hybrid makes its world debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
Combining the ingenious packaging and urban agility of the Yaris model range with the unique driving experience and efficiency of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive® (HSD), the new Yaris Hybrid is a major step in the company’s full hybrid European roll-out strategy.
The Yaris is Toyota’s best-selling core model, with the largest ‘Unit in Operation’ fleet on European roads. Following the launch of the Auris Hybrid, the Yaris Hybrid is Toyota’s second core model to feature HSD technology, and brings this remarkable powertrain to the biggest volume segment in Europe.
The new Yaris Hybrid is designed for demanding urban drivers who expect a new driving and ownership experience from their car. Combining low fuel consumption, emissions and cost of ownership with uniquely relaxed and quiet driving, its HSD system proves that driving pleasure need not be compromised by environmental responsibility and low running costs.
Aspirational Design with Segment-Best Packaging
The Yaris Hybrid inherits all the clever DNA of the standard model, offering B- segment customers an ingenious combination of compact packaging with a spacious, practical interior, while introducing a new, more advanced and sophisticated style to the exterior design.
Its 2,510 mm wheelbase length unchanged, the new Yaris Hybrid is just 20 mm longer than the standard Yaris, at 3,905 mm overall. The front overhang has been increased to accommodate the new, downsized, full hybrid powertrain, yet the vehicle’s class-leading turning circle of only 4.7 metres has been maintained.
The Yaris Hybrid features an exclusive, aerodynamically efficient exterior design. It combines a new, more aggressive, Under Priority frontal design language -the distinctive new face of the next generation Toyota family- with Keen Look detailing such as front and matching rear LED lighting.
Aerodynamics are key to fuel efficiency, and the new Yaris Hybrid benefits from improvements to air flow both over the restyled front of the body and, through the adoption of underbody covers and wheel spats, beneath it. As a result, Toyota’s new full hybrid boasts a class-leading drag coefficient of just Cd 0.286.
On board, the Yaris Hybrid interior features an exclusive, hybrid blue finish to the dashboard soft-touch pads and seat fabric trim, blue illumination to the hybrid combimeter and a Toyota Touch system which incorporates a Hybrid Energy Monitor, and a hybrid-specific CVT gear knob.
The new Yaris Hybrid represents a significant engineering breakthrough in the packaging of the full hybrid powertrain. Every key HSD component has been reduced in size, and both the fuel tank and battery are installed under the rear seat. As a result, the Yaris Hybrid maintains identical occupant space and the same 286 litre luggage capacity as that of the standard model.
New, Downsized Full Hybrid Powertrain
The Yaris Hybrid introduces the first downsizing of Toyota’s HSD technology. The new powertrain has been optimised for installation within the vehicle’s compact, extremely efficient packaging design, without detriment to either system quality and performance, or passenger accommodation and loadspace.
The downsized full hybrid system combines a new, 1.5 litre petrol engine with a lighter, more compact electric motor, transaxle, inverter and battery pack. Total system weight is 42 kg less than that of the Auris Hybrid, making the new powertrain 20% lighter.
The 1.5 litre Atkinson Cycle petrol engine is 16.5 kg lighter and 10% shorter than the 1.8 litre unit of existing Toyota HSD powertrains. When used in combination with a cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system, an Atkinson cycle engine offers significant gains in fuel efficiency and the reduction of emissions.
In the Atkinson cycle, compression and expansion are asymmetrical, and the valves close late, delaying compression. This creates a high expansion ratio for less compression, converting combustion energy to engine power more effectively. Though more fuel efficient, an Atkinson cycle engine is marginally less powerful than the more common, Otto cycle unit. However, it is supported by an electric motor in Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive®, boosting total system power under acceleration.
The use of a smaller E-CVT electric continuously variable transmission and a more compact electric motor effects a 6% reduction in the length of the Yaris Hybrid’s transaxle, and an 11 kg weight saving over that of the Auris Hybrid.
The electric motor has been made smaller through the optimisation of the magnet material, and the winding of the coils with flat, rather than round, wire. And, due to a reduction in system current and voltage, the system’s Power Control Unit (PCU) has also been made smaller and lighter through the development of a more compact inverter and switching unit.
The new, downsized full hybrid powertrain also features a smaller, nickel-metal hydride battery with a more efficient management system. The number of cells has been reduced from the 168 of the current Auris Hybrid to only 120, effecting a decrease in volume of 20% and a weight saving of 11 kg. This has made it possible to install the new battery entirely under the rear passenger seats, with no intrusion into the cargo loadspace.
Combining the power of a 55kW petrol engine and the electric motor, the Yaris Hybrid’s highly efficient, 74 kW/100 DIN hp powertrain will offer the best balance of performance and fuel consumption/CO2 emissions in the B-segment, whilst allowing customers frequent driving in modes that emit zero NOx, PM or CO2 emissions.
Real world tests in an urban environement with Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain reveal that up to 60% of commuting journey is undertaken with the petrol engine off, resulting in zero emissions driving.
Combining a low centre of gravity with the optimum weight distribution provided by the battery pack’s central layout, the Yaris Hybrid offers customers responsive performance and extremely well balanced driveability.
A thorough review of Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) measures has also increased the quietness of the HSD powertrain. Most notably, an excessive increase in engine rpm has been suppressed under acceleration, offering a more linear relationship between vehicle and engine speeds.
The new Yaris Hybrid is not a niche model. It is designed to appeal to a broad range of customers from different segments, such as C-segment downsizers wishing to combine roominess with fuel efficiency, traditional B-segment buyers looking to combine style with low ownership costs, eco-minded customers seeking the latest, class-leading green technology, and even B-premium intenders in search of an alternative proposition.
Every Toyota full hybrid offers customers the lowest possible cost of ownership. Excellent fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions bring tax incentives in some countries, inner city congestion charge exemption and exceptionally low running costs.
Moreover, Hybrid Synergy Drive® has been designed for low maintenance and outstanding durability. The full hybrid powertrain does not need a conventional starter motor or alternator. The engine uses a maintenance-free timing chain and has no drive belts, improving reliability and bringing further cost savings.
Based on the feedback from Toyota Hybrid vehicles on the roads, the efficiency of the Electronically Controlled Braking (ECB) regeneration system means that brake pads have a life expectancy of more than 100,000 km.
The new Yaris Hybrid will be produced at the Valenciennes plant of Toyota Motor Manufacturing France. Representing 20% of total Yaris model range volume sales on a full year basis, it will go on sale throughout Europe from May 2012.