Hatchback

Toyota Yaris with 400hp? Meet the Hybrid-R

Marvel at the racing-inspired hybrid powertrain that could one day be sitting in a GT86.

Putting the ‘super’ in supermini, this is the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R that comes packing 420 horsepower. 300 of those have been squeezed from a 1.6-liter engine with the remaining 120 coming from a pair of electric motors. The technology behind this system is derived from the Toyota Hybrid Racing team’s TS030 Hybrid that finished in second and fourth spot at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Yaris Hybrid-R also boasts a third electric motor, located between the engine and six-speed sequential transmission.

However the 60hp it produces is not for drive, instead it operates as a generator recovering energy while braking and to power the rear electric motors during acceleration. Unlike the standard Yaris Hybrid, the Hybrid-R stores recovered energy in a supercapacitor that can grab energy during braking quickly and rapidly reroute it to the wheels while going hard on the throttle. If too much torque is delivered to the front wheels, the third motor kicks in and sends power to the rear wheels acting like an advanced traction control system. But instead of limiting power it simply boosts acceleration and improves handling.

The fun doesn’t stop there either with this clever little powertrain. The rear electric motors alternate torque distribution between the rear wheels depending on the speed of the curve being taken, sending more power to the outside rear wheel or more braking force to the inside wheel as required. While the Yaris Hybrid R may not be the most exciting car at the Frankfurt Motor Show, its drivetrain could well be. Consider that Toyota will put this to good use in the rumored GT86 Hybrid. Now that is something to get excited about.

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$15,635

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Toyota Yaris Hatchback
Starting MSRP
$15,635
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