TOYOTA AT THE JOHANNESBURG INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW
The Johannesburg International Motor Show sees the first appearance of a new flagship model for the Yaris range in South Africa, the Yaris TS, powered by an all-new 1,8 litre Dual VVTi petrol engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. This combination is designed to offer enjoyable driving performance together with low fuel consumption and sophisticated refinement.
The new Yaris TS is a sophisticated sporty version of the popular Yaris Hatch which, in the words of the design team, is “only for grown ups”. It exudes a premium feel worthy of the top-of-the-range Yaris model. More subtle than aggressive in its approach to sports styling, the TS will find favour amongst both male and female buyers.
From the front the Yaris TS is distinguished by sporty styling for the front bumper, headlight, and grille. The front bumper is aerodynamically sculpted into the wheel wells to emphasise the sporty nature of the TS with the aero refinement carried through to the rear of the car with styled side skirts. The rear end treatment includes a roof spoiler and aero-efficient bumper that imparts a wide and low centre appearance. A 100mm diameter exhaust adds to the sporty appeal.
Interior styling also reflects the sporty nature of the Yaris TS with high-grade sports style seats and driving position prominent amongst the features. In keeping with the sports theme Toyota’s Optitron analogue instrumentation keeps the driver informed of road and engine speed as well as other operating information. Red coloured indicator needles on the instruments contrast clearly with the amber background lighting of the instrumentation. A high level of specification, including air conditioning and radio/CD combination, is featured.
This new 1,8 litre engine complements the 1 litre and 1,3 litre advanced technology all-aluminium engines already included in the Yaris range. The three-cylinder 1,0 litre VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent) engine produces 51 kW @ 6000 r/min with torque of 93 Nm @ 3600 r/min. Fuel economy is a miserly 5,4 l/100km on average. The 1,3 litre unit, also a VVT-i specification engine, produces 63 kW @ 6000 r/min with torque of 121 Nm @ 4400 r/min.
The new 1,8 litre dual VVT-I engine that powers the Yaris TS produces 98 kW @ 6000 r/min with torque of 173 Nm @ 4400 r/min. Significantly 90% of the maximum torque output is available from 2000 r/min through to 6000 r/min to provide the Yaris TS with excellent mid-range pulling power for a thoroughly enjoyable driving experience in town or on the open road.
This characteristic derives from the evolution of Toyota’s very effective VVT-i system into a new Dual VVT-i system. By simultaneously varying the timing of both the intake and exhaust valves, the Dual VVT-i technology is able to ensure optimum combustion conditions over a wide range of engine speeds.
The Dual VVT-i system uses hydraulic pressure, controlled by the engine CPU, to independently advance or retard the camshaft timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts. Increased valve lift, enabled by the use of the Dual VVT-i system, contributes to higher engine output.
While the Dual VVT-i system provides for a wide torque range, it also boosts top-end power to provide a lively feel with good acceleration for the TS. Top speed is close to 200 km/h whilst acceleration from rest to 100 km/h is just a shade over nine seconds. This performance comes together with a fuel consumption figure of just 7,0 l/100 km with a CO2 output of 164 gm/km.
Other engine features that contribute to improved combustion efficiency are the “diagonal squish” design of the combustion chamber, a long-port intake manifold, and long-reach spark plugs that contribute to enhanced anti-knock performance.
As one of Toyota’s latest generation engines, this new 1,8 litre unit is both compact and lightweight. The engineers tasked with the design also focused on the reduction of frictional losses and NVH (Noise Vibration and Harshness). These measures contribute to better engine response, better fuel economy, and increased driving pleasure.
Extensive use of computer-assisted engineering (CAE) has helped to reduce the weight of the reciprocating parts and provide for a highly rigid aluminium cylinder block. Further weight savings are achieved by using a resin-type intake manifold.
A roller rocker arm system is used to reduce friction between the camshaft and the valve mechanism. Oil pressure activated automatic adjusters on the valves ensure that valve clearance is always at its optimum setting and maintenance free. Low-tension piston rings and an offset crankshaft make a further contribution to reduced frictional losses.
The front suspension follows the proven L-arm MacPherson strut layout featured across the Yaris range but is fine tuned in keeping with the sportier nature of the Yaris TS. This compact, highly rigid suspension design brings the strut inboard from the wheel hub to provide excellent steering stability and a supple ride.
The rear suspension also remains true to the proven Yaris concept of a lightweight and compact torsion beam system. Separate mounting points for the springs and shock absorbers help achieve a low flat floor and short overhang, features common across the Yaris range.
Common too is the electric power steering system (EPS), but this is enhanced for its application in the TS. A higher steering ratio is used for precise control while the characteristics of the EPS are adapted to the higher steering ratio and the 17-inch wheels fitted with 205/45 R17 tyres. Large diameter disc brakes are fitted all round, ventilated at the front and solid at the rear.
The Yaris TS adds a new and exclusive dimension to the popular Yaris range, that features amongst South Africa’s top three selling vehicles.