Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R is Road-Going Version of Brand's Racing Technology
28 September 2013 - Autoblog
Called the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R, this three-door pocket rocket isn't just a hybrid making a lot of horsepower – it incorporates technology from Toyota's TS030 Hybrid racecar that competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship series, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Yaris Hybrid-R packs a 300-horsepower, turbocharged, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine under its hood, which should be enough for most speed freaks, but Toyota pairs it with two 60-hp electric motors at each rear wheel (the same ones used in the production Yaris Hybrid that's sold in Europe). That makes total system output an insane-for-this-size 420 hybrid horsies.
But that's not all, as the Yaris Hybrid-R forgoes the traditional battery pack below the rear seats in favor of a supercapacitor, which can both hold more energy and has a much faster power charge/discharge speed than traditional batteries. Paired with the supercapacitor is a third 60-hp electric motor/generator positioned between the engine and six-speed sequential transmission. Its job is to feed the super capacitor energy during deceleration and direct its power to the rear electric motors when more grip and oomph is needed.
Indeed, the powertrain for this through-the-road hybrid is decidedly more high-tech and competition-spec oriented than the somewhat boy race appearance package suggests, though we dig the 18-inch TRD wheels wrapped in proper Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires and Recaro seats. And it's not just a track warrior, as Toyota engineers have given it both Track and Road driving modes, though a track is the only place you would ever see the Yaris Hybrid-R's potential fully realized. What this all means is anyone's guess, but if it suggests that Toyota can transfer technology like this from the track to the street, we can't wait to see which production car is first in line for it.