Are hybrid vehicles to be forever relegated to fuel-misers and hypermilers with no interest in the very special sound that burning rubber makes? With the development of new concept vehicles, such as the Toyota Hybrid-R Concept, I think the answer is, “No.”
Now, burning rubber is not recommended, but studies have shown that it is highly enjoyable. We wouldn’t recommend doing it more than a couple of times if you really want to enjoy the fuel economy savings of the Toyota Hybrid-R Concept. Last week, Toyota teased us with a logo of the new concept, to be based on the powertrain developed for the Toyota TC030 which took second place in the 24hrs of Le Mans.
The full reveal of the Toyota Hybrid-R Concept won’t actually take place until the Frankfurt Motor Show, but we fully expect to get sneak peeks of the car beforehand, such as a recent rendering of the car revealed this week. Taking a look at the image, it seems to evoke the sportiness and performance that one would expect in a 400hp+ hybrid electric vehicle based on a race car but, is that a Yaris headlamp?
Well, it is a concept, after all, so I wouldn’t expect Toyota to release a 400hp Yaris. On the other hand, stuffing loads of power into a tiny car, until it’s the equivalent of a rocket-powered saltine cracker, has always been the best path to, I don’t know, reckless behavior. Still, that much power would certainly make the Yaris fun to drive, which Toyota has staunchly refused to do to the Yaris so far. Given the light weight of the chassis, the Toyota Hybrid-R Concept would certainly benefit in the fuel economy department.
At least it doesn’t look like an Echo.