The Toyota Yaris Hybrid — vicious, no? No. Not not unless you slap a hyphenated ‘R’ on the end. Do that and you end up with a whole new proposition which, incidentally, goes by the name of the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R.
It may be small, but the Yaris Hybrid-R is a feisty proposition. Based on the 3-door Yaris, this car uses a concept hybrid powertrain that blends a highly tuned 300bhp, 420Nm 1.6-litre petrol engine with not one, or two, but three 60bhp electric motors.
The petrol engine drives the front wheels on a constant basis, while two of the electric motors leech power from an onboard super-capacitor to drive a rear wheel each as required for up to 10 seconds at a time in road mode or 5 seconds at a time in the car’s track setting.
A third electric motor, located between the engine and the car’s six-speed sequential gearbox, usually acts as an electricity generator for the aforementioned super capacitor, but can also send power directly to the two rear motors to redistribute torque lost while the front wheels are spinning up under heavy acceleration.
Toyota has yet to provide any performance figures, but given the amount of grunt on tap, you’d be a fool to bet against it being anything other than rapid.
It uses a concept hybrid powertrain that blends a highly tuned 300bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine with three 60bhp electric motors.The Yaris Hybrid-R’s motors don’t only work together to provide rapid acceleration. They can also act as generators to harvest braking energy as electricity, or work independently of one another, acting either as a motor or a generator, which has the same effect as an intelligent torque vectoring differential.
The system can, for example, send more torque to the outside rear wheel of a curve, allowing higher cornering speeds on mid-speed curves. It can also apply more braking force to the inside wheel on fast curves, or brake and accelerate each wheel independently on slow curves to provide a better line and limit understeer.
Obviously, this is but a humble concept, so there’s little chance Toyota will actually make the thing. Can you imagine the company building a Yaris that’s faster than everything else on its fleet? It’s unlikely to say the least. That said, there’s no reason its bonkers powertrain can’t be applied to something else higher up in the brand’s food chain. A hybrid GT-86, perhaps? We can dream.
Check out the pictures below.