While the Toyota Yaris is about as far from a sports car as you can get these days, it is the model Toyota choose to debut a new performance-hybrid drivetrain. The Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R uses a 1.6 liter four-cylinder GRE (Global Racing Engine) mated to a pair of electric motors to deliver an all-wheel drive sports car in an econobox platform. It’s a bit baffling if you ask me.
The GRE engine turns the front wheels, while a pair of electric motors run the rear wheels, providing an all-wheel drive system similar to the one used on the TS030 Hybrid race car. A super capacitor stores energy from braking, and quickly discharges it to the electric motors, providing a temporary boost in power.
That’s about all Toyota will tell us for now, though an entire booth will be dedicated to the Yaris Hybrid-R at the Frankfurt Auto Show next month. The concept is said to deliver around 400 horsepower, and is designed for use on the track or street. The most obvious candidate for this drivetrain is the Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S, but a new-generation Supra supercar might also be a tempting target.
But the Yaris? It really is a head scratcher, ain’t it?