• Jul 29, 2009
2009 Toyota Yaris - Click above for a high-res image gallery

A Toyota insider is countering yesterday's report that the automaker is planning a Yaris-based hybrid to be built in France. Such a vehicle would be unnecessary, according to the unnamed source.

Today's Toyota Yaris is already a fuel miser. The European variant is currently quipped with a 1.33-liter dual VVT-i engine with start-stop technology allowing the compact runabout to earn an impressive 55.4 mpg (European) combined fuel economy (in the States, we get a 1.5-liter Yaris that is rated at 29/36 in EPA testing). While dropping a hybrid powerplant into a larger vehicle pays back significantly, the gains realized by building a hybrid Yaris would be negligible.

Down the road, it may be a different story as battery technology (one limiting factor) is improving quickly. The advent of lithium ion batteries will boost the case for compact and subcompact hybrid vehicles as the bantam-weight cars benefit from the lighter and more compact power sources.



[Source: Autocar]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 21 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great, one less hybrid to worry about. Pissing down the highway in the fast lane going slow to maximize their fuel economy. If they really want to maximize their fuel economy and lessen thei r"carbon footprint" they should get on some form of public transportation
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow...seems like Toyota is raining on everyone's hybrid parade.

      They were the first to say the Volt wouldn't work because the battery tech won't be ready.

      And now they're indirectly poo-pooing the upcoming Fit-based hybrid by saying that a hybrid the size of a Yaris wouldn't be worth it.

      They sound more and more like old GM every day.
      • 5 Years Ago
      that's realistic
      • 5 Years Ago
      > Such a vehicle would be unnecessary, according to the unnamed source.

      Comments from the previous article are sources now? The miserly engine that's in the Yaris in europe is not available here and never will be. The 1.5 is anemic and could sure do with a boost in city fuel economy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Give us the diesel model instead?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why the 20 mpg difference between EU (55.4) and US (36) versions? No doubt all the stupid regulations we have. We should allow European spec cars over here. Then we wouldn't have to worry about pollution from millions of dead hybrid batteries.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Two reasons:

        1) The UK uses Imperial gallons which are larger than US gallons. While I don't remember the exact conversaion rate off the top of my head, a US gallon is roughly 85% or so of an Imperial one. 55mpg Imperial equates to approx. 47mpg (US).

        2) The US-specification Yaris uses a 1.5 litre petrol engine. The UK gets 1.0 litre and 1.3 litre VVT petrol units and a 1.4 litre diesel, all of which are more economical than the US-spec model.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The difference is the testing methodology and fact that Imperial gallons are larger.

        A Toyota Prius is exactly the same vehicle in the UK as in the US and is rated at 50mpg combined in the US and 72.4 combined in the UK. The actual fuel consumption isn't different between the two, the way of determining the numbers is.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A hybrid Yaris is ultimately rather pointless, especially when you can buy one with the excellent 1.4 litre D4-D unit mated to a six-speed 'box.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The cost savings vs the car's cost would be about as red as Detroit's income last year. It makes sense, but Toyota is sounding like GM, a lot.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why?! Just go full electric for something that small.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The payback on the hybrid Yaris would be percentage-wise just fine. The only real problem is to make sure you can make the hybrid system cheap enough to make up for the fact that you would only save $500 a year in gas (even at European gas prices).

      Battery capacity needed for a hybrid is proportional to vehicle weight, so that means even within a technology (like NiMH), battery weight is proportional to vehicle weight. So I don't see why the Yaris needs Lion more than a Prius does.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If you assume the hybrid will be expensive then you're right. Like I said, the key is making the hybrid mechanism cheap enough. Do this correctly and you'll clean up in town on running costs and break even on the highway.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hybrids are generally more expensive, and with the sheer prevalence of good diesel technology in Europe, the market for hybrids has remained relatively small and viewed with skepticism by the motor trade here.

        Toyota knows this, and given that it's unlikely to have any major benefit over its excellent 1.0VVT petrol and 1.4 litre D4-D units for most consumers, went some way I am sure towards the decision to can the idea - at least for the European market.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You're better off with the Yaris in D4-D guise with the 6-speed gearbox. At £12K it's far cheaper than a hybrid model would weight in at, also gets 55mpg (imperial) around town and 79mpg (imperial) at highway speeds, and emits only 109g/km of CO2 so annual road tax is cheap too at only £35, whereas a hybrid would likely be free of VED cost. In short, the hybrid would unlikely be very cost-effective over either the diesel or base 1 litre petrol models.
      • 5 Years Ago
      As long as hybrids get into downtown London without paying a daily fee, there is a reason enough to make any hybrid for the English market, even if it only improves mpg 0.1%. Sorry to be so crass about it, but it's true.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Whatsmore, the majority of the British population doesn't commute into London and of those who do, the majority don't drive into London.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If you know London well enough, it's far easier, cheaper, and less hassle to take the tube to work.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The convenience of the tube hasn't stopped people from wanting to drive into central London so far, nor has the congestion fee. I see no reason this is going to change tomorrow.

        Your second argument is completely specious. You don't need a majority of the population to make a market for a vehicle.
      • 5 Years Ago
      No worries, PSA Peugeot Citroen is working on the world's first diesel electric hybrid.

      That will blow everyone else out of the water.
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