Toyota Unleashes Yaris Hybrid R Concept in Frankfurt

Posted by: Kenny Chan onSeptember 12th, 2013

While it may just be a proof of concept at the moment, the Toyota Yaris Hybrid R Concept that was unveiled in Frankfurt at the 2013 IAA is mighty impressive and puts other automakers on alert. Toyota has taken technology developed for the race track and has transferred it to a production vehicle–ignore the flashy “concepty” body work they’ve slapped on.

The Hybrid R Concept features a 300 horsepower 1.6L 4-cylinder gas engine, which by the way is impressive on its own in a car like the Yaris but add on a pair of electric motors at each rear wheel for another 120 horsepower and you’ve officially got a hot hatch. Move over Volkswagen Golf R! What sets the Yaris Hybrid R apart from other sporty hybrids is the lack of a traditional (heavy) lithium ion battery.

In its place is a super capacitor that is connected to an electric motor/generator unit (KERS) which is transfers power to a six-speed transmission that can deliver another 60 horsepower to the front wheels. If you’re having trouble keeping track, that’s a total of 360 horsepower at the front wheels and 120 horsepower at the rear wheels. Of course, this added boost is only available as long as there is power left in the super capacitor.

The Hybrid R operates in two modes, Road and Track. Under Road mode a simple regenerative braking system is employed to charge the super capacitor allowing for some extra boost when needed. Track mode is where the vehicle really shines as the super capacitor can recover much more braking energy due to the constant acceleration and deceleration of the vehicle on the track. Furthermore, the system can recover energy from one rear wheel and send it to the opposite rear wheel offering instantaneous torque vectoring. I say instantaneous as there is no mechanical system required to divvy up the torque, its all done with the electric motors and a processsing unit evaluating a myriad of inputs deciding when each motor should be recovering power or delivering power.

So, now that Toyota has proven it can build a street vehicle with race track developed technology, what vehicle would we begin to see this technology in? The return of the Supra? Scion FR-S Hybrid R? Perhaps it’ll arrive in the form of a Lexus, in say the next-generation LF-A? For now, feast your eyes on more pictures in the gallery below.

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