In a strange turn of events, a source inside Toyota has told the U.K.’s AutoCar that the Japanese automaker isn’t looking to build a hybrid version of the Yaris. The source says the car won’t be built in France, Japan or anywhere; not yet anyway.
Toyota does plan to build hybrid versions of every car it sells by 2020, but in the mean time the Yaris’s already fuel-efficient engine (sold with a 1.33-liter four cylinder that gets over 50 mpg in Europe and Japan) is sufficient. While the added weight and cost of hybridizing a car makes good financial sense on larger vehicles, it just wouldn’t be worth it on sub-compacts like the Yaris, says the unnamed source. That is, until battery technology improves, making the electric components smaller, lighter and cheaper.
Toyota has, however, officially said it will build a hybrid version of the slightly larger Auris in the U.K. starting next year.