Drip, drip, drip… goes the news surrounding a new hybrid vehicle concept that Toyota will unveil, fully, at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept.
The new Hybrid-R logo was a far cry from the current ho-hum hybrid synergy drive logo of the Toyota hybrid vehicle lineup, with emphasis on “R” for “Racing,” which means power. What we weren’t expecting was it to come in a Toyota Yaris package! The headlight was, indeed, a surprise, but the full rendering comes to us from the Toyota Newsroom, and it is most definitely a Yaris.
Given that the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R is just a concept vehicle, I doubt that it will ever be produced as a Yaris, but if it’s built on the same chassis and is as good as the specifications are given, it should be a vehicle brimming in fun-to-drive, as well as efficient-to-drive. The appeal of the Yaris chassis is the fact that it is so small, which means light, which, in turn, means fast, agile, and efficient [if you drive it right].
Something that sets the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R powertrain apart from the typical Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive setup is it’s utilization of supercapacitors. Supercaps are far more energy-dense than batteries, which makes them lighter than comparable lithium-ion [Li-ion] or nickel-metal hydride [NiMH] rechargeable batteries currently in use. Supercaps also have higher charge and discharge rates, which can be helpful for quick bursts of power on demand.
Toyota’s let loose with a few more drips of information regarding the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept, which is built to be an all-wheel drive with two electric motors, on the front and rear axles, which convert kinetic energy to electrical energy to be stored in supercap banks during regenerative braking. On acceleration, both the supercaps, via electric motors, and the 1.6ℓ i4 engine propel the vehicle with quite a bit more pep than a standard Toyota Yaris.
Image © Toyota