Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Toyota Shows Yaris HSD Concept in Geneva, Production Model to Follow in 2012

Toyota premiered its first superimini hybrid model based on the next-generation Yaris at the Geneva Motor Show today. The Yaris HSD Concept is essentially a teaser version of the production hybrid model that Toyota will launch in Europe in 2012.

In a similar fashion to the Auris HSD before it, the Hybrid Synergy Drive version of the Yaris features some bespoke styling cues that separate it from its conventional sibling. These include the large trapezoidal lower grille, the vertical “aero” corners housed in the front bumper that minimise air turbulence and the rear reflectors in the rear bumper. Other changes include the 18-inch rims, specially designed to aid brake cooling.

For the sake of aerodynamics, the Yaris HSD uses thin rear-view cameras instead of conventional door mirrors and even the shape of door handles has been modeled to improve airflow around the car. Building on the eco theme, the roof of the car is covered with solar panels that provide power for the air conditioning system.

Although no official figures are offered, Toyota stresses that the Yaris HSV produces zero CO2, NOx and particulates tailpipe emissions while in full EV mode. The Yaris hybrid will be built at Toyota's Valenciennes plant in France and will be on sale during the second half of 2012. By 2020, the Japanese manufacturer plans to offer full-hybrid variants for its entire European lineup.

By Dan Mihalascu


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