Toyota presented many new models at the Auto Shanghai 2013 that include a local variant of the Yaris and a stylish six-seater compact crossover concept that are meant to attract younger consumers. At the 2012 Beijing motor show, Toyota unveiled concepts of the Yaris five-door hatchback and a saloon version named Vios.
But at the ongoing Shanghai show, Toyota launched their respective production versions. The hatchback takes on the Yaris name but these models are actually unique for the market in China. They’re also set to enter production in this country in the later part of 2013. Toyota may also start production of versions intended for other markets that are emerging.
It displayed the FT-HT Yuejia, a six-seater concept that’s equipped with a hybrid powertrain, a bold pillarless scissor door design and a simple, stylish cabin with three rows of two separate seats. It is a concept but Toyota has dropped hints that it will soon be made into a production car and that it will be offered in China exclusively.
Toyota’s stand also includes the Yungdong Shauangqing II, a model equipped with a new hybrid system that’s still in development as well as the EV concept, a squat compact crossover that has an all- electric drivetrain. Another new model on the Japanese automaker’s stand is the Danz, a Corolla-based electric saloon that’s a product of its FAW joint venture.
Toyota first introduced the Yaris in Europe in 1999. Since then, each generation that spawned from the first model lived in line with the vehicle’s key concept, which is being "compact outside while roomy inside." In fact, the Yaris was dubbed as "Piccolo Genio," which means little genius. Yaris promptly earned this moniker simply because of the packaging ingenuity of its first two generations.
Now debuting in its third generation, the new Toyota Yaris has the clever packaging of the first two generations, but now features an exterior that is more appealing, more elegant, and more dynamic – as expected of a European compact car.
The new generation of the Yaris – with a length of 3,885 mm – is just 100 mm longer than its predecessor. While longer than the previous model, the new Yaris is still one of the most compact offerings in its class, considering that the average length of cars in the B-segment is around four meters. The compactness of the new Yaris is evident in the fact that its turning circle is just 4.7 meters, which is the best in its class. This turning circle also allows the new Yaris to be agile when navigating through city streets.
Although the new Yaris is as wide at its predecessor 1,695 mm, it is now lower by around 20 mm (to 1,510 mm), which means its center of gravity is now also lower. In addition, its wheelbase is now also longer by 50 mm, thereby giving the Yaris front and rear overhangs. This dynamic and stable look is also supported by the fact that the new Yaris features prominent wheel arches.