• Sep 24th 2010 at 2:03PM
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2010 Euro Toyota Yaris – Click above for high-res image gallery

Early last year, rumors about a low-cost hybrid model from Toyota circulated around for some time. The rumormill almost came to a halt when the Yaris was unofficially declared as the platform scheduled to receive Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive technology. Then, additional reports surfaced suggesting that the low-cost hybrid would go on sale early next year and likely compete head-to-head with Honda's upcoming Fit hybrid. Earlier this month, yet another report surfaced reconfirming that Toyota would begin production of its Yaris-based hybrid at its factory in France next April. Toyota remained silent on the subject and held back any comments, but due to the countless reports that have surfaced, we suspected that a Yaris-based hybrid would certainly emerge at some point.

Now, Autocar reports that Toyota has confirmed plans to make a "small hybrid car" at its Valenciennes plant in France beginning in 2012. Toyota did not specifically mention the small hybrid car's name, but given the fact that the gasoline-powered Yaris is built there, coupled with countless reports suggesting that the Yaris would indeed become the foundation of Toyota's upcoming subcompact hybrid, the conclusion that Toyota will launch a hybrid version of the Yaris in 2012 seems all too obvious. It's unlikely that the Prius' 1.8-liter mill will fit into the Yaris, but Toyota does have smaller engines at its disposal. For now, it also seems unlikely that the Yaris hybrid will hit U.S. shores, but we've got our fingers crossed.

[Source: Autocar]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      My apologies on the dumb comment as I did not read after the jump. Looks like the gas engine versions are getting 47 MPG (if I converted right) so one would think the hybrid shoud do quite a bit better. I think I saw some earlier articles claiming that the new multimodel hybrid line up would have MPG numbers around 60 MPG.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm glad to read that Toyota is re-designing the Yaris. I hope they move the speedometer gauge to a less dangerous location.

      I rented a Yaris last year and liked it -- except that I had to turn my head down and far to the right to check my speed. The gauge is actually located closer to the front passenger than to the driver. It's simply not possible to adequately watch both the road and the speed gauge while driving this car. If Toyota eliminates that safety hazard, Yaris + Hybrid Synergy Drive = a winner.

        • 5 Years Ago
        I rented one last month and have the same complaint. Luckily I was driving in the middle of nowhere Nevada/Utah, but I found myself doing 90+ a few times in a 75 zone and was unaware that I was going that fast.

        • 5 Years Ago
        My wife rented one and had the same complaint. I'm sorry, Toyota, but what were you thinking? This is a car, not a toy. Put the speedometer in front of the driver, thanks.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Interesting to see how the MPG compares to the Prius. I suppose it depends primarily on what the Yaris aero drag is compared to the prius. If they don't do a lot of wind tunnel work we could see the hybrid yaris the same or maybe even worse than the prius----that would be a big disappointment.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My better half has a Yaris 3-dr hatchback with a 5 speed.
      Seemed odd at first having the speedo in the middle. But after a week or so, we both find it just fine. I like it. Looks good too, and you don't have to squint or move your head to looking thru the steering wheel.
      Nice modern design. Keep it where it is Toyota.

      I've taught the little lady some hypermiling techniques. She's bummed if she doesn't break 40 mpg. on every tank, and even higher with trip driving.

      We both love the current design of the hatchback. I hope Toyota doesn't screw it up with the next generation.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I really really hope this is something like the FT-CH. I love the idea of a smaller, simpler, lighter, and MORE fuel efficient little brother to the Prius. I'd buy one in a heart-beat (if I were in the market for a car).
      • 4 Years Ago
      I too have a Toyota Echo 2001, never had a minutes trouble out of it, almost 10 years old now. I love,love,love this car and get 39-40 miles per gallon. The best car I have ever owned.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well - it certainly seems unlikely that it will hit while it matters all that much.
      By the time it does their should be plenty of competition for it.

      There is always hope for the fit hybrid.
      Unfortunately - with the performance of insight and cr-z, I don't have a lot of thought that this new fit 'hybrid' is going to be all that great either.

      here's hoping hyundai has something up its sleave with its seemingly quite easily ported tech - to maybe stick it in the elantra or maybe even an accent.

      fiat TwinAir is something else I am hoping to see in the states sooner rather than later.
      • 5 Years Ago
      actually 1.8l does fit yaris, there is TS model with 1.8l engine... it would be actually cool if that is used... however keep in mind that this will be in new Yaris, as new Yaris is coming next year...
      Steven W. Diffy
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have a Toyota ECHO. This car came out before the Yaris did stateside and has an interior pretty close to that of the Yaris. I personally love the center mounted gauge cluster. When you look down at gauges in other cars you take your eyes off the road. When looking to your right at the gauge cluster on an ECHO or a Yaris you still have your eyes in the windshield area and your perifial vision should still be able to sense what is going on. It is a very good design with your safety in mind. I love this ECHO. I only have one complaint: I cannot find a repair manual for it. I do my own maintainance and I have nothing to do it with. The car must be too good.
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