Here’s the first image of Toyota’s new hot hatch concept: a Yaris Hybrid boasting a faintly ridiculous 400bhp power output.
You won’t be surprised to learn the Yaris Hybrid-R isn’t intended for series production: it’s just a party piece to celebrate 5.5m worldwide Toyota hybrid sales since 1997, and point to future Toyota hybrids that the company says will offer faster performance and a grin-inducing drive.
What powers the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R concept?
Under the bonnet, the super-Yaris uses Toyota Motorsport’s 1.6-litre racing petrol engine to drive the front wheels. Twin electric motors power the rear wheels for all-wheel drive traction. The car employs know-how from Toyota’s TS030 Hybrid Le Mans prototype racer, too. Energy is harvested under heavy braking and stored in a quick-spinning capacitor, and deployed to the rear wheels for an extra boost in performance.
What else is Toyota bringing along to the Frankfurt show?
You’ll see the latest steps Toyota has taken to make a production fuel cell vehicle viable, ahead of a fuel cell hybrid going on sale in 2015. With Hyundai already poised to release a fuel cell-powered ix35 crossover, Toyota’s looking to fight back in the race to get ahead in the alternative powertrain market.
Meanwhile, Toyota’s luxury offshoot Lexus will preview its new Frankfurt releases tomorrow at 9am, so stay tuned to CAR Online as we bring you up-to-the-minute coverage of one of the world’s biggest motor shows.