Yaris hybrid in pipeline to SA

The Yaris HSD (Hybrid Synergy Drive) concept that had its world debut at the 2011 Geneva auto show is seen as an an important step in the Japanese automaker’s strategy to roll out hybrid technology across its European model line-up.
With the launch of its Auris hybrid in 2010, Toyota’s goal is to offer hybrid power in all its models in Europe by 2020. The Yaris HSD is aimed at the European supermini B segment.
It may have taken a few years but buyers' general perception of hybrids has matured into a clear alternative to diesel or petrol. The number of drivers opting for a hybrid has doubled since 2009 and Toyota says this has created demand for their vehicles: “Customers looking to buy a hybrid are three times more likely to consider a Toyota.”
Toyota is aiming the Yaris HSD at commuters who want a ride which features low costs, low fuel consumption and ease of use.

Leo Kok, manager of Corporate Communications at Toyota SA, says the aim is to bring the new model to SA, though perhaps not until 2013.

"We're working on the business case for the new Yaris HSD and would like to introduce the vehicle. The production version will only be introduced in Europe in 2012 so local introduction, if successful, would follow a couple of months after the European launch."

In terms of design, the new model inherits much from the current Yaris but with some major changes to the front and rear.  The upper grille opening is shallow, flanked by contoured headlights, and overall shirks the rounded look of the Yaris in favour of a more flat sportier design.

Short front and rear overhangs and a long wheelbase will improve interior space.
There are a number of styling cues that identify the vehicle as a Toyota hybrid; from the rear you can tell they’ve borrowed design elements from the Prius. Airflow is managed by a small spoiler over the rear glass, underbody covers and 18" aero wheels with enlarged gaps to promote cooling. In place of conventional side mirrors, the Yaris HSD will feature side-mounted cameras.

Toyota says that it's their aim to expose more buyers to hybrid that simply relying on its successful Prius.

“It is our intention to introduce hybrid propulsion as an alternative to petrol and diesel engines in standard model ranges. This will accomplish two things - it will offer environmentally conscious buyers a wider range of choices when they chose a specific model range and it will expose more people to the benefits of our Hybrid Synergy Drive than was the case when it was only available on a standalone model (the Prius).”

To maintain it’s hybrid indentity Toyota offers the new model in white, with blue metallic accents. The new model sports Toyota’s HSD badging, LED daytime running lights and blue illumination of the rear-view camera housings and door releases.

HYBRID SYNERGY DRIVE: The Yaris HSD will feature a number of unique design cues ranging from solar panel across the roof to side-mounted cameras.

Fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions are established attractive qualities in the B-segment. Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive will carry these forward with the additional benefit of offering fully electric driving capability.
In all-electric EV mode the system produces zero CO2 emissions.

Toyota hopes that buyers will consider the cost-saving incentives of owning a hybrid such reduces fuel bills and tax benefits. The HSD requires little maintenance: the system has no starter motor or alternator, the timing chain is maintenance-free and there are no drive belts.
Toyota engineers have boosted the electric drive capabilities with the solar power panels convering the roof. The panels serve to independently power the vehicle’s aircon, thus reducing fuel consumption.

The production model to follow the Yaris HSD concept will be launched across Europe later in 2012. Vehicles will be built at Toyota’s Valenciennes plant in France.

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