• Jul 30th 2009 at 10:23AM
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2009 Toyota Yaris - Click above for 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
      • 6 Years Ago
      You need to make extra clear that European gas mileage is massively inflated over the US equivalent by at least 40% for highway, less for city. This is due to a difference in the imperial gallon to the US gallon as well as how mileage is calculated.

      Also, for diesels; the diesel fuel used in Europe is illegal in the states. This is a big reason it took Volkswagon so long to change the design of the TDI engine to make it run on US diesel fuel. One effect of the re-engineering was to reduce mileage, especially in the city.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Isn't the Yaris already a hybrid of a bicycle and a small car?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Isn't "55.4 mpg European" actually 55.4 kpg?

      Even so, I think they're missing a golden opportunity to assert their hybrid leadership by not putting a Yaris hybrid on the market. I think it would sell.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Key task for Toyota now is to put the Auris (Corolla hatchback) hybrid on the market.

        I'd like to see the Yaris hybrid as well but they author is right. Notable is that in European market, diesel market share is the lowest in small car class (for the same reasons) and the largest in heavy cars and SUVs (where the gain is the biggest).
      • 6 Years Ago
      An all electric Yaris would be a good direction.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why in the world doesn't Toyota bring out the 55MPG version here in the USA?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yea, this seemed a bit fishy to me yesterday when I read it. The small increase in MPG would be almost certainly outwheighed by the enormous additional cost and weight of the needed systems to make this little car a hybrid. My fiance's friend has one and it already gets above 40 MPG on the regular and she drives it like shes running from the cops all the time. I dont understand why the EPA rates these cars so much lower than they are actually capable of performing.
      I could however definitely see a BEV conversion for this car or the IQ being highly successful and full of potential. The yaris would be a perfect platform for a (Relatively) cheap and safe BEV. I would buy one tomorrow, if the offered it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The issue is battery supply and cost, Toyota won't consider a hybrid Yaris (or for that matter, an EV Yaris) unless the supply is adequate and the costs are low. If there is a shortage of batteries, they will go to their higher profit margin vehicles like the Prius and Lexus models, not a cheap hybrid.

      Still, with battery production ramping up, we eventually will see a low end hybrid from Toyota, and it might even be the Yaris.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hybrid powertrains aren't just about increasing gas mileage, but also about keeping reasonable power levels. The European Yaris may have a 1.3 liter, but it's an anemic engine. A Hybrid would allow us to have the best of both worlds... hmm imagine that, the defnition of "hybrid."
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