Revealed for Geneva: 2012 Toyota Yaris Hybrid

Photos of Toyota’s latest in golf cart technology have been released before its official debut in March.

Toyota has just released the first official photos of their new production-spec 2012 Yaris Hybrid. Set to make its debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March, the Yaris Hybrid utilizes the Japanese automaker's first ever downsized Hybrid Synergy Drive and will join the European market in the summer. We first saw the Yaris Hybrid in concept form at last year's Geneva show and it is said to be the harbinger of Toyota's strategy in Europe, offering hybrid variants of the core models in their lineup.

Designed for aerodynamics and efficiency, the Yaris Hybrid hopes to emulate the success of the current model which is already Toyota's best-selling model in the European market. Motivation for the new variant comes in the form of a 1.5-liter gasoline engine paired to a lightweight, compact electric motor. The lightweight changes in the new electric powerplant aren't limited to the engine alone, as its transaxle, inverter and battery pack also shed weight making it an impressive 20 percent lighter than the Auris Hybrid's.

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According to Toyota's press release, the "74 kW/100 DIN hp powertrain will offer a leading balance of performance and CO2 emissions in the B-segment, whilst allowing customers to frequently drive in modes that emit zero NOx, PM and CO2 emissions." The 2012 Toyota Yaris Hybrid marks the company's shift from promoting the Prius in Europe to using the popular Yaris as a way to entice consumers to go hybrid. Time will tell if their strategy works in the long run, however we are just waiting to see what the production version of the Japanese automaker's latest hybrid looks like when it makes its debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.

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