Frankfurt Motor Show 2013 – Toyota Eco Warrior


First images of Toyota’s wild eco warrior, the Yaris Hybrid-R, emerge

A few days ago Toyota tickled our performance palettes with a few teaser shots of the forthcoming Yaris Hybrid-R Concept which will make its world premiere at next week’s Frankfurt Motor Show. Now, for the first time this super-hot hatch is shown in all its ‘green’ glory.

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Just to recap, here are some of the Yaris Hybrid-R Concept’s more salient performance features (please note Toyota has adjusted some of the output figures from the earlier release):

  • The car’s hybrid powertrain combines a highly tuned 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo engine and two powerful electric motors to provide total output of 313kW (420hp).
  • The direct-injection turbo powerplant, which has been adapted to racing conditions, provides 224kW (300hp) of power and 420Nm of torque to drive the front wheels. It was specifically developed by Toyota Motorsport GmbH according to FIA rules for a Global Race Engine to be used in different motorsport disciplines, such as the World Rally Championship and the World Touring Car Championship.
  • At the rear of the Yaris Hybrid-R, each wheel is powered by a 45kW (60hp) electric motor, providing an “intelligent” electric four-wheel drive capability. The motors generate electricity during braking and supplement the petrol engine during acceleration. As with Toyota’s TS030 hybrid Le Mans race car, the energy recovered from braking is stored in a super capacitor. Its high power density and fast charge/discharge speed are perfectly suited to the requirements of sporty driving on a track, which requires brief and immediate bursts of power.
  • The Yaris Hybrid-R driver can push a button on the steering wheel to select “road” mode for day-to-day driving or “track” mode for competition. “Track” mode makes full use of available performance, with the rear electric motors able to reach a combined maximum power peak of 90kW (120 hp) for up to five seconds.
  • A third 45kW electric motor, located between the engine and the six-gear sequential transmission, can operate as an advanced traction-control system. At low speeds, or in a curve, when the engine power and torque exceed the grip potential of the front wheels, the motor can convert torque from the petrol engine into electric energy and direct it to the rear wheels. The twin rear electric motors can also enhance handling characteristics during cornering by altering the distribution of torque between the left and right rear wheels, achieving the same effect as an intelligent torque vectoring differential. Depending on the radius of the curve, the system can send more torque to the outside rear wheel, apply more braking force to the inside wheel or even brake and accelerate each wheel independently to promote a better driving line and to limit understeer.
  • Depending on the state of charge of the battery, the Yaris Hybrid-R can be operated in full electric mode for short distances, especially during parking operations.


A resolutely sporty design

To say that the Yaris Hybrid-R looks different from its bread-and-butter siblings is an understatement. This radical concept adopts newly designed headlights, a wider front grille and black and blue details that contrast with the white body colour.

The front bumper 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.

The flared fenders house bespoke 18-inch TRD wheels fitted with 225/40 R18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres featuring an asymmetrical tread design that is ideally suited for a mixed use on the road and on the track.

Grooved and perforated brake discs are gripped by six-piston callipers in the front and four-piston callipers in the rear. Located on the rear pillar, a quick-opening fuel cap allows for quick refuelling in the pits.

At the rear, a spoiler is mounted on the roof and the bumper incorporates a large diffuser with an exhaust pipe framed by two air extractors.

Matching the colours outside, the dual-tone Recaro bucket seats feature black leather side bolsters and blue Alcantara®.

Ideally located high and close to the driver’s right hand, the shift lever of the sequential gearbox is set up to quickly change down gears by pushing the lever forwards, and to change up by pulling it back. The driving position is completed by a set of sport pedals from the 86 sports coupe.


Connecting the real and virtual worlds

The Yaris Hybrid-R concept utilises the same CAN-Gateway ECU system developed for the 86 coupe for the sixth version of the GranTurismo game, due to be launched before the end of the year.

The system allows drivers of the 86 to record – on a USB or smartphone – the racing data collected while driving on the track. GPS data, longitudinal accelerations, steering angles, gear changes, engine speed, vehicle speed and even water temperature are used to reproduce a real lap of the track on the video game console and compare it to virtual laps done with the game.

The Yaris Hybrid-R Concept takes this technology one step further, by utilising the same principle but in a reverse way. We could imagine that the data of the laps recorded through the video game could be sent to the vehicle ECU. The electronic management of the car could potentially anticipate the driving conditions of each track, to optimise the phases of energy recovery, the operation of the traction control, the amount of energy used at each step and optimise the handling through the rear electric motors.

Key TMG Global Race Engine Specifications

  • Engine: 1595cm3
  • Fuel system: direct injection (up to 200 bar)
  • Air system: turbo garett GTR2560R (max boost pressure: 2.5 bar)
  • Air restrictor: 33mm
  • Max power: more than 224kW (300hp) at 6000rpm
  • Max torque: 420Nm
  • Max RPM: 7500rpm