Toyota’s Latest Hybrid Powertrain for New Yaris

A new hybrid powertrain is one of the leading highlights of the fourth generation Toyota Yaris super-mini.

It features a 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine directly derived from the larger, 2.0 and 2.5-liter systems that were introduced in the past year in the new Corolla, RAV4 and Camry models. It boasts the automaker’s VVT-iE electric variable valve timing technology on its double overhead cam engine and benefits from measures to reduce internal friction and mechanical losses and enhance combustion performance. It claims the world’s fastest combustion speed, supporting high torque at low engine speeds and fuel efficiency. It is also fitted with a balance module, which helps reduce engine noise and vibration.

As a result, it claims 40% thermal efficiency, higher than comparable diesel engines, helping secure an improvement of more than 20% in Yaris’s fuel economy and CO2 emissions. At the same time, system output has been increased by 15% to 90bhp and torque of 88ft-lbs.

The hybrid transaxle has been redesigned, adopting a dual axis structure that reduces size by 9%. The system also uses a larger lithium-ion hybrid battery to provide quicker vehicle acceleration. As well as being more powerful, the battery is 27% lighter than the nickel-metal hydride battery it replaces. In selected markets, the new Yaris will also be available with 1.5-liter and 1.0-litre three cylinder gasoline engines. More details of these powertrains will be released at a later date.

Since the introduction of the first Prius back in 1997, Toyota Motor Corporation has sold more than 14 million hybrid vehicles worldwide – including 2.5 million in Europe. It has constantly improved the technology and progressively introduced new models across a wide range of market segments.

Yaris Hybrid, the world’s first full hybrid B-segment model, was introduced in 2012, since when more than half a million have been sold in Europe, establishing it as a key product in creating wider public awareness and appreciation of the benefits of Toyota’s hybrid technology.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


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