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Toyota Yaris Hybrid: First photos of the production hybrid

Tue, 10 Jan 2012 00:00:00 -0800

Toyota Yaris Hybrid in production guise

Toyota has revealed the first photos of the production version of the Toyota Yaris Hybrid ahead of a public reveal at Geneva 2012.

We’re still not really sure we understand Toyota’s policy when it comes to hybrid cars. It’s clear they still see hybrid as the future, but they no longer seem to believe that Prius is a brand to promote hybrid goodness, at least not in Europe. So instead of getting the Toyota Prius C, Europe and the UK are going to get the new Toyota Yaris Hybrid.

We’re all in favour of this direction from Toyota, as we’d much rather see hybrid versions of their regular range of cars than a dedicated hybrid statement car like the Prius. But dos this mean Toyota will eventually let the Prius ‘brand’ go in Europe and instead concentrate on hybrid versions of its normal range? Like the Auris Hybrid, which is really so close to the Prius it seems like a pointless marketing crossover.

Still, whatever Toyota’s hybrid plans are in Europe, the next Toyota hybrid to hit ours shores will be the new Toyota Yaris Hybrid, which first turned up at Geneva 2011 and will make its public debut in production guise at Geneva 2012 before going on sale in the summer.

The Yaris Hybrid gets a downsized version of the Toyota HSD system with a new 1.5 litre petrol engine and a more compact electric motor, transaxle, inverter and battery pack which comes in a full 20 per cent lighter than the HSD system in the Auris Hybrid.

That means that Toyota has managed to squeeze the HSD gubbins in to the Yaris without any compromise in either the cabin or boot as they’ve managed to squeeze the battery pack under the back seats. Sadly, Toyota has still seen fit to endow the Yaris Hybrid with a CVT ‘box.

There’s a total of 98bhp on offer, the same as you get in the regular Yaris 1.33 VVT, and Toyota say the Yaris Hybrid will deliver a segment-leading balance of performance and CO2 emissions.

No word on price yet for the Yaris Hybrid, but we’ll no doubt find out by the time Geneva 2012 arrives in a few weeks time.

(3 photos – click any thumbnail for full size)

By Cars UK