Tokyo was the stage for the latest unveiling from Toyota, the new Vitz. If you're confused about the name and thought it would be the Yaris, rest assured. Vitz is the name for the U.S.-bound Yaris in Japan. It's no surprise that Toyota has also refreshed its subcompact offering in Japan at a time when Nissan, Honda, Subaru and Mazda have all done the same. This is also the first full redesign of the Vitz/Yaris since 2005.
The styling is more expressive and it has a seemingly Eurocentric design to it. The platform is a carryover, but the wheelbase has been stretched by 4-inches to provide more interior space. While Toyota has placed more emphasis on the 1.3-liter engine for Japan, the U.S. will get the 1.5-liter with 107 horsepower. Inside, the new Yaris will sport the same Spartan look of simplicity and functionality. The makeover does, however, bring the Yaris new seats. Toyota also announced that it's planning on releasing a hybrid model, but that won't appear until 2012.