2011 Geneva Motor Show Preview: Toyota Yaris HSD Hybrid Concept

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 5, 2011

Toyota’s promotion of its hybrids has been in full force since the start of the North American International Show (NAIAS), where it introduced its extended lineup based on the Prius, the world’s most successful hybrid. For the European market, Toyota will soon offer the Yaris hybrid. The carmaker has also released a teaser of the Prius+, a seven-seater MPV.

It is claimed that this model would be the first in Europe to have the seating capacity of an MPV and the benefits of a hybrid power train.

It’s likely that there will be a revamp for this system, which is based on the Hybrid Synergy Drive and was used on the Prius for many years. Toyota asserts that the Prius+ will offer the lowest fuel consumption figure of any MPV available on the market.

At NAIAS, Toyota presented the Prius v minivan, on which the Prius+ is expected to be based. The system offered a choice from among four driving modes: Normal, Power, Eco and EV. An Inside Line report states that the new Prius MPV will arrive in the market by 2012.

This model is included in the global expansion of the Prius line, which will include no less than 11 derivatives of the hybrid. Many believe that Toyota should have done this earlier, considering the declining consumer interest in the classic Prius.

Now, a more efficient Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) is expected to make vehicles consume less fuel and emit less carbon dioxide, factors considered as crucial to success. Not only that, HSD endows vehicles with the ability to offer fully electric driving, making it pleasantly applicable in urban settings.

When operating on all-electric mode, HSD delivers zero carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions. Thereby, with HSD on board, every Toyota full hybrid offers the lowest possible cost of ownership and low running costs.

Not only that, thanks to their fuel efficiency and low carbon emissions, the Toyota hybrid could qualify for tax incentives in some countries, and be exempted from congestion charges in some cities. Furthermore, HSD boasts of low maintenance and remarkable durability.

In fact, the full hybrid powertrain features no conventional starter motor or alternator while the engine employs a maintenance-free timing chain and features no drive belts. Interestingly, the entire roof surface of the Toyota Yaris HSD concept has been mounted with solar panels, which provide independent power for the air-conditioning unit thereby increasing the fuel efficiency of the full hybrid powertrain.

However, the task of launching full hybrid technology into the B‑segment was met with a number of engineering challenges. For instance, the new powertrain design should be optimized to enable its installation within the concept’s compact yet efficient packaging design.

This is because such installation should not compromise system quality and performance, passenger comfort and cargo capacity. This inclusive repackaging of HSD technology should be able to cater to growing demand for urban-based family vehicles, sans a compromise on interior space or hybrid performance.

Press Release

Toyota Yaris HSD Concept

Making its world debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the Toyota Yaris HSD concept embodies what will be an important step in Toyota's full hybrid roll-out strategy in Europe.

Toyota aims to complete the application of full hybrid technology across its main models in Europe as early as possible in the 2020s. Following the successful introduction of the Auris HSD to the C‑segment in 2010, the Toyota Yaris HSD concept anticipates Toyota's intention to bring Hybrid Synergy Drive® to the B‑segment, the biggest volume segment in Europe.

The current growth of the B‑segment is just one facet of a perceptible shift in the public's requirements of the car industry. Customers are becoming less brand loyal. They are becoming less inclined towards a mainstream purchase, and more attracted to entry level, niche or premium models. They demonstrate receptiveness to new technology, increasingly in the context of the driving experience.

There is also a significant increase in the number of customers who quote engine type as their primary purchase consideration. Hybrid technology has achieved sufficient powertrain parity in the public perception that it is now a clear alternative to diesel or petrol engines.

The number of customers choosing hybrid drive for their next vehicle is increasing steadily, and has doubled in the last two years. This creates a gateway into the Toyota brand: hybrid intenders being three times more likely to consider a Toyota than conventional petrol and diesel customers.

Toyota's proven, Hybrid Synergy Drive® technology targets demanding urban customers who expect a new driving and ownership experience from their car. Combining low fuel consumption, emissions and cost of ownership with uniquely relaxed and quiet driving, HSD proves that driving pleasure need not be compromised by environmental responsibility and low running costs.

Amongst early Auris HSD customers, the majority quote relaxation, an engaging driving experience and the learning of new driving habits as the three most rewarding characteristics of their new cars.

The Toyota Yaris HSD concept inherits all the clever DNA of the Yaris, offering B‑segment customers an ingenious combination of small, compact packaging and a spacious, practical interior, while introducing a new, more advanced and sophisticated style to the exterior design.

Flanked by highly contoured headlamps, the upper grille opening is shallow, helping the air flow smoothly over the upper half of the body. And the Toyota logo is fully integrated within the front lip of the bonnet, adding stylish articulation to its leading edge.

In profile, the Toyota Yaris HSD concept's sleek, monoform shape is emphasised by the long, sweeping roofline and a single, crisp character line which runs smoothly through the length of the vehicle. Short front and rear overhangs and a long wheelbase maximise passenger accommodation and loadspace on board.

Several hybrid-specific styling cues indentify the Toyota Yaris HSD concept as a Toyota full hybrid model derivative.

Air turbulence has been minimised by flat, vertical 'aero' corners housing front foglamps and matching rear reflectors, a large, integral rear spoiler, comprehensive underbody covers and 18" aero wheels featuring enlarged air gaps for improved cooling air flow. Even the door handles and rear side view cameras have been carefully designed to the most aero-efficient shape.

The show car's striking, white pearl paintwork is unique to the Toyota Yaris HSD concept. It showcases a further development of this remarkable finish, with highlighting provided by sparkling, blue metallic accents. Requiring specialised, multi-layering application techniques, this hybrid-specific application brings an extraordinary depth and quality feel to the finished paintwork.

The presence of Hybrid Synergy Drive® is further emphasised through hybrid Blue Toyota badging, LED daytime running lights and 'synergy' blue illuminated highlight surrounds to both the outer mirrors and door handles.

HSD - Introducing the Benefits of Full Hybrid Technology to the B‑segment

Fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions are already key to the success of models. And further improvements to the efficiency of Hybrid Synergy Drive® will continue to deliver highly competitive fuel consumption and emissions.

With its unique capacity to offer fully electric driving, HSD is particularly effective in the urban environment. In all-electric mode, the system not only generates zero CO2 emissions, but also zero NOX and particulate (PM) emissions.

Every Toyota full hybrid offers customers the lowest possible cost of ownership. Superior fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions bring tax incentives in some countries, inner city congestion charge exemption and exceptionally low running costs.

Moreover, Hybrid Synergy Drive® has been designed for low maintenance and outstanding durability. The full hybrid powertrain does not need a conventional starter motor or alternator. The engine uses a maintenance-free timing chain and has no drive belts, improving reliability and bringing further cost savings.

Reflecting Toyota engineers' ongoing analysis of improved hybrid system performance through the use of solar power, solar panels have been applied to the entire roof surface of the Toyota Yaris HSD concept. This engineering solution targets the independent powering of the air-conditioning unit for improved full hybrid powertrain fuel economy.

Introducing full hybrid technology into the B‑segment has presented Toyota with several unique engineering challenges. The new powertrain design must be optimised for installation within the vehicle's compact, extremely efficient packaging design, without detriment to either system quality and performance, or passenger accommodation and loadspace.

This comprehensive repackaging of HSD technology is essential to meeting the growing market demand for urban-based family vehicles, without compromising either interior space or hybrid performance.

European Production - The Introduction of Full Hybrid Technology at Toyota Motor Manufacturing France (TMMF)

The production model, following on from the Toyota Yaris HSD concept, will be launched throughout Europe in the second half of 2012. Committed to the highest standards in build quality, Toyota has determined that the new full hybrid will be produced at the Valenciennes plant of Toyota Motor Manufacturing France.

Full hybrid technology will become an increasingly significant part of the company's mainstream vehicle production in Europe. With the Auris HSD already in production at the Burnaston plant in the UK, Toyota will be the only car manufacturer producing hybrid vehicles from more than one European plant.

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