Design overhaul combines with all-new platform, interior and powertrains - including a three-cylinder hybrid - as Toyota invests big in supermini game
16 October 2019

Toyota’s top-selling European model, the Yaris, is moving to a new generation next year – and the first official images and details have been revealed.

The fourth-generation Vauxhall Corsa rival is set to go on sale in the UK in the middle of 2020 with customer deliveries commencing in September. It has been redesigned from the ground up, with a new platform and a three-cylinder hybrid powertrain designed specifically for the new car.

As with previous Yaris generations, the new supermini has been designed in Europe with European customers in mind and it will continue to be built in the Valenciennes plant in France. However, for the first time, the Yaris name will now be used globally on small cars tailored for each region, much as Toyota has done with the latest Corolla.

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The design itself is said to be more “condensed and agile” than its predecessor, with the aim of banishing the MPV-like proportions of that car. Enabled by the new GA-B platform, there’s a significant 40mm reduction in roof height without, Toyota claims, a significant loss in head room. It is also 50mm wider, with a 60mm wider track, while the wheelbase has increased by 50mm to boost passenger space. Despite this, the new car has actually reduced in length by 5mm. It means the Yaris is the only supermini that is less than four metres long, aiding in-town manoeuvrability. A claimed best-in-class turning circle fits with this, too.

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The new interior wasn’t shown to us at the car’s reveal, but an image was released afterwards. Toyota claims the cabin follows its principle of ‘hands on the wheel, eyes on the road’, with a minimalist dashboard and infotainment screen mounted within the driver’s eyeline, alongside ‘binocular-style’ instruments. The driving position has been improved, with a hip point 3.6cm lower than the old car and greater seat and wheel adjustment for a less upright seating point.

UK specs are unconfirmed but we know the Yaris will get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, with an 8in touchscreen as standard and a larger display potentially offered on top models. It’s the first car in its class to feature a centrally mounted airbag system between the driver and passenger, while a comprehensive suite of driver aids is standard.

The European Yaris will be available with three petrol engines, all with three cylinders. A base 1.0-litre will be offered with a five-speed manual gearbox, while a 1.5 will come with a six-speed manual or CVT automatic option. The UK will take the two 1.5s initially, with the 1.0-litre likely at a later date. The hybrid, set to account for more than 80% of sales, uses the 1.5-litre unit mated to a 79bhp, 103lb ft electric motor and an air-cooled lithium ion battery. That battery is 27% lighter than the nickel metal hydride pack it replaces, yet is capable of delivering more power at a faster rate than the old item.

Together with a new transaxle and more efficient motor, Toyota claims the powertrain is 15% more powerful than before yet produces around 20% less CO2. Power, torque and efficiency figures have yet to be released, however. What has been confirmed is that the Yaris hybrid can switch to electric-only mode at speeds of up to 80mph – far higher than previously. The engine itself runs on the Atkinson cycle for greater efficiency, has variable valve timing, has a thermal efficiency figure of 40% and runs at a diesel-like 14:1 compression ratio.

Toyota says the new GA-B platform, related to that of the Corolla and C-HR, offers best-in-class structural rigidity at 40% more than the Mk3 Yaris, thanks to the use of high-tensile steel. Despite this, and the hybrid tech developments, engineers told Autocar that the new Yaris will be around 20kg lighter than the old car, spec for spec. The platform’s lower centre of gravity, combined with the wider track and a stiffer rear torsion beam with softer spring rates, are said to improve both ride quality and handling composure.

Q&A: Stefan Ramaekers, senior technical trainer, Toyota

Q. How have you managed to avoid the ‘elastic band effect’ of CVT-equipped hybrids with the new unit?

A. “First, there is more power from the engine side but also more torque, accessible more quickly from the electric side. It suppresses engine revolutions and makes more use of EV power. The way it drives is much more fun, more dynamically engaging.”

Q. Is it easier to keep the car in electric-only mode?

“You will find the throttle pedal is less sensitive in terms of waking the engine; it is easier to keep in electric drive, yes. There’s a theoretical pure EV range of up to four miles, but that’s not how it works. We estimate that in normal urban driving, the engine will be off for 80% of the time, charging itself through regeneration.”

Q. If sales of the hybrid are so strong, why bother with traditional petrol engines?

A. “The hybrid is the focus, but some people still want the lower prices of petrol engines. Nevertheless, the target of 80% hybrid sales? We can beat that, I think. We’ve sold 500,000 Yaris hybrids in eight years already.”

READ MORE

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Toyota unveils new Mazda 2-based Yaris hatchback for US​

Tracing the 2019 Wales Rally GB route in a Toyota Yaris GRMN​

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Comments
17

16 October 2019

Toyota really seems to have found its feet with the new cars it's launching and seems to have dropped it's baffling insistence on having really poorly designed interiors.

I can see this car and the 208 really challenging the mini and the A1.

17 October 2019
SamVimes1972 wrote:

Toyota really seems to have found its feet with the new cars it's launching and seems to have dropped it's baffling insistence on having really poorly designed interiors.

I can see this car and the 208 really challenging the mini and the A1.

Yep, this looks really cool for a little hatch.  The coolest on the market now, IMO.  If it is as sturdy, durable, tough and reliable as the current model it will be a winner.  I'd look very closely at a 4 cylinder turbo / hybrid with lowered suspension, big wheels, spoilers, and a dark tint.

16 October 2019
Looks a bit like an Aygo that got jiggy with a Mazda2. Nothing terribly arresting about it, but I pity the poor kids in the back seat. Hybrid in the range but no EV at this point - PSA will be luvvin'that.

16 October 2019

Fussy Bet this sells as well as the Pug  and being hybrid will appeal to more folk than all eletric at the moment. This is one well engineered motor and being a Toyota will work without  visiting service between services. Toyota have this hybrid market well and truely engineerd to perfection,with millions around the world giving what motorists what they want reliabilty

16 October 2019

I did wonder whether the, now, previous model would ever be replaced, having been around for 9 years and looking and feeling somewhat long in the tooth. After the first 2 models, the 3rd generation seemed a step backwards in appeal, looks and quality. 

16 October 2019

If one engine accounts for 80% of sales it makes you wonder how small the sales percentage split of the other 2 engines will be and whether it's financially viable to continue with both of them.

Also, with a 79hp electric motor + 1.5 engine it seems strange such a high performance (and expensive) would account for vast majority of sales for such a small city car, you wouldn't expect the ST Fiesta to get 80% of sales would you.

6 November 2019
xxxx wrote:

If one engine accounts for 80% of sales it makes you wonder how small the sales percentage split of the other 2 engines will be and whether it's financially viable to continue with both of them.

Also, with a 79hp electric motor + 1.5 engine it seems strange such a high performance (and expensive) would account for vast majority of sales for such a small city car, you wouldn't expect the ST Fiesta to get 80% of sales would you.

 

You are too stupid to type. so you must have carers that assist you. The article clearly states that ICE models are there to provide a lower price point...not everyone has your financial means...what on EARTH are you now doing, comparing this model with the Fiesta ST?.

 

You need to be locked up, for our good as much as yours.

MrJ

16 October 2019

Yikes, the Yaris is starting to look like an ugly version of the old Morris Minor.

16 October 2019

... nothing the SUV style widening of wheel arches. Overall it appears they went for striking rather than pretty - given success of HRV it could work.

16 October 2019

But why 50mm wider? That seems to be those large flared wheel arches to cover the increased track. I can only imagine that it is for a GRMN version... but they don't sell many of those compared to grannies who would prefer to fit it through narrower gaps etc in town.

Back is too fussy and the rear passenger windows too small, but at least it looks different.

Notice how he sidestepped the CVT gearbox question.  A simple automatic would have been better.  Will be interesting to see the mpg figures and price on the road.

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