Toyota caused quite a stir when they announced the Hybrid-R Concept for the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, because, well, it is a 420 horsepower hatchback. And it is based on the Yaris, which is the farthest thing from a car worthy of such power.
But they have indeed made this concept, and it serves as a showcase of Toyota’s remarkable achievement in hybrid motoring. They just released further details on the technicalities of this little beast, which uses a similar system to that of the monstrous Toyota TS030 Le Mans racer.
The powertrain in the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept consists of a 1.6 liter four-cylinder petrol engine that is tuned to make an incredible 300 horsepower, all of which is sent to the front wheels. To balance it out, there are two 60 horsepower electric motors spinning the back wheels, and working as a generator while decelerating to charge the batteries.
This obviously makes the Yaris R a four-wheel-drive car. But there is more to it. The back wheels controlled by the electric motors can act individually – well, the motors can – altering the distribution of power from left to right to enhance cornering capabilities of the car. This simulates torque vectoring.
The brilliant system in the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept is not meant for a production Yaris R or anything, but Toyota tells us it can be used, someday, is a hybrid sports car. Sounds like a plan.