Lighter, more compact hybrid system for new Yaris Hybrid

Toyota’s new Yaris is the latest member of the manufacturers range to include a hybrid option, with the supermini getting a custom version of their Hybrid Synergy Drive installed.

With the Yaris being smaller than the Prius, simply porting over the existing systems wasn’t an option, as the hybrid option was not to come at the expense of room in the cabin or boot. The result is a clever, compact version of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system that is used in larger models, such as Prius and Auris Hybrid.

The batteries are small enough to fit under the rear seats, so the boot space isn’t compromised at all, while space in the rear of the car remains untouched, although the sliding rear seat option is no longer available.

With a smaller 1.5 litre petrol engine weighing 16.5kg less than the 1.8 of the Auris, a 20% smaller electric motor and shorter transaxle weighing 11kg less, the 99bhp produced is sufficient to keep up with the traffic and return excellent fuel economy.

As with the other HSD models in Toyota’s range, the Yaris is fitted with their e-CVT automatic gearbox.

Toyota have yet to announce official economy and CO2 details, but we expect class leading figures for both when the model launches in March. It is expected that the Hybrid will be available to buy in June.

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Phil is a motoring writer for print and web, failed racing driver, car hoarder and banger rally competitor. Nominated for the Headline Auto Rising Star award and a MGMW member, Phil freelances for outlets as diverse as Diesel Car magazine, DAD.info and Cambridge Magazine, amongst many others. He also maintains a fleet of unloved motors, but spends most of his time driving an old Corvette.

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