• Mar 25, 2009
Toyota Yaris Liftback – Click above for high-res image gallery

The speculation can finally end. After weeks of hearing rumors regarding an impending low-cost hybrid from Toyota, Automotive News is reporting that the Japanese automaker is working on getting a hybrid drivetrain installed in the Yaris platform. The new car will use the same Hybrid Synergy Drive technology as the Prius but will cost considerably less when it goes on sale, which could take place as early as 2011.

This new development is a direct response to the new Honda Insight, a hybrid five-door that ostensibly competes with the Toyota Prius but costs thousands less due to its slightly smaller size, including a downsized engine and battery pack. When Toyota's Insight-fighter hits the market, we'd expect it to carry an engine that roughly matches the Insight's 1.3 liters, a full half-liter smaller than the powerplant in the 2010 Prius.



[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      This shouldn't be a surprise - the original Prius was almost exactly the same size as today's Yaris sedan.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How is this not still speculation?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Thanks to forward thinking Honda! Without the landmark Insight, low cost hybrids will remain a pipe dream in the sky. Look out for the Chinese...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Its a smart idea. Putting thr tech in a car that looks normal is fine by me A la ford fusion hybrid.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Yaris already has the 1.4 D4D turbodiesel engine with 4.5L/100km consumption... and the new 1.33 petrol engine does 5.1L/100 with 100hp... I dont think they will use the Yaris.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Oh ok... well basically here in Europe the engines are just as economical as the Hybrids
      • 5 Years Ago
      I, for one, think the MPG-pissing contest is a good thing. We spent way too long on the "my SUV is bigger than yours" pissing contest.

      So if a Prius gets 50 mph, would this get close to 60? HSD is inherently more advanced than Honda's, so shouldn't the gains be even better?

      • 5 Years Ago
      I can get 1200km highway per 55L tank without really trying to watch my drive habits. I had 4 people in the car and camping gear. Try that in a Prius. As well in Canada (Ontario) Diesel is cheaper by about 5 cents a liter. The Prius @100km is pig, my work has a few and they are terrible. The new 140hp / 236 torque 2L TDI motor makes a Prius look silly on the highway. I can see it getting better in city but only marginally and even then diesel fuel is still cheaper.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't see how the proposed vehicle would be substantially more fuel efficient than a Yaris with, say a 1.2 liter turbodiesel like the new Polo. Less greenhouse, sure, but similar fuel consumption and probably way more expensive to produce.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Welcome to America.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yaris-based? Honda need not worry about any Insight competition from that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Having driven both back to back last weekend, along with a Scion and an Astra, I see exactly where he's coming from. The fit was so much nicer to drive than either of the Toyotas that I can't imagine anyone buying either of them. Even the Astra was hugely better than both (and much, much cheaper.)
        • 5 Years Ago
        @exkart

        My point was that Toyota can build a larger car on Yaris platform, just like Honda did with Insight which is based on Fit. Not that this is a good practice, but it does reduce costs.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Why not? Honda Insight is also based on Fit (Jazz) not Civic."

        Because the Yaris, like all Toyotas, are snoozemobiles. The Yaris is an unrefined snoozemobile.

        The Honda Fit is actually fun to drive.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why not? Honda Insight is also based on Fit (Jazz) not Civic.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Dondon:

        Size matters, and by 2011 I'm sure Honda's offerings will be even more enticing. (and cheaper)
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm pretty sure a small diesel would in the long run be much cheaper to produce and better on the environment then the making and disposal of batteries. Every time I pass a hybrid on the highway I smile to myself knowing my 09 TDI sportswagon is getting better mileage. Not to mention it actually has the power to pass someone!
        • 5 Years Ago
        How do you figure that? The Prius gets better gas mileage both city and highway than the Jetta TDI Sportwagon.

        I'm sure the Jetta is more powerful, but realistically a Prius, or any other car that is sold today, has sufficient passing power. Except maybe the Smart car. No other car is down around the 70 hp level like the old days.
      • 5 Years Ago
      fiat are coming out with the 500 hybrid.
      and it's going to america to your local chrysler dealer.

      • 5 Years Ago
      A smaller hybrid car has better fuel economy than a larger hybrid car? And it costs less too?

      This who has the top fuel economy p*ssing contest is going out of control. Cars can only get so small. And putting a hybrid powertrain into a bigger vehicle will save the owner more money than putting a hybrid powertrain into a scooter.
        • 5 Years Ago
        A fuel economy pissing match, Gary? Really? Because the automakers certainly wouldn't waste time in a horsepower pissing match, now would they?

        They're putting hybrid technology into a more affordable package, making it available to more people, making them therefore use less gas and cause fewer emissions. It's a GOOD thing, dummy.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Piaggio's coming out with a hybrid scooter, they must not have your intuitive sense of what works in motorizied transport.
    • Load More Comments