Making its World Premiere at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R concept car combines the advanced technology of the compact volume seller Toyota Yaris Hybrid with high-performance engineering inspired by Toyota’s racing prototype, the TS030 Hybrid, which participated at Le Mans and in the World Endurance Championship.
The Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R features a more aggressive and emotional interpretation of the design language that characterises recent Toyota models. The Keen Look and Under Priority design philosophy is reinforced by the adoption of newly designed headlights, a wider front grille and black and blue details that contrast with the white body colour.
The specific bumper design incorporates two large air intakes and blue LED daytime running lights. The intakes greatly contribute to the front brake cooling, while the shape of the lower lip is designed to centrally channel underbody air flow.
At the rear, Yaris Hybrid specific LED lights maintain the link with the production car. An exclusive spoiler is mounted on the roof and the redesigned bumper incorporates a large diffuser, with an exhaust pipe framed by two air extractors.
Based on the Yaris 3-door, the Toyota Yaris Hybrid R concept hybrid powertrain configuration, employs a powerful and highly tuned 1.6l petrol engine combined with two powerful electric motors to provide an ‘intelligent’ electric four-wheel drive capability.
At the rear, each wheel is individually powered by a 60hp electric motor – the same as those used in the standard Yaris Hybrid. The hybrid powertrain system develops a total system output of 420 hp.The front wheels are driven by a 300hp 4-cylinder 1.6 turbo engine with direct injection specifically developed by Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) according to the rules of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) for a Global Race Engine to be utilised in different motorsport disciplines.
The two electric motors work as electric generators during the braking phase, and supplement the petrol engine during the accelerating phases.
Just like in the TS030 Hybrid, the energy recovered during the braking phase is stored in a super capacitor. In the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R it is located under the rear seat, where the Yaris Hybrid battery is usually positioned. Compared to the standard NiMh hybrid battery, the super capacitor has a higher power density and a fast power charge / discharge speed. It is perfectly suited to the requirements of sporty driving on track, which requires brief and immediate bursts of power.
A 3rd 60hp electric motor, located between the engine and the 6 gear sequential transmission, operates as a generator in two different cases: during deceleration to feed the super capacitor and during acceleration to directly power the rear electric motors.
The latter will only happen when the engine power and torque exceed the grip potential of the front wheels. The generator behaves like an advanced traction control system, redirecting the torque as electric energy to the rear wheels, to boost the acceleration and improve the handling rather than to simply limit the engine power.