Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept Armed With 420 Ponies

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

How do you make a boring economy car exciting? Well, most automakers simply tack a letter “R” on the rear and call it a day. Fortunately the latest Toyota Yaris concept has far more substance than just a name badge.

The Hybrid-R is a high-performance design study that made its world premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It combines the technology of a standard Yaris Hybrid with some pretty slick engineering.

Under its pug-like snout sits a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. With direct fuel injection it delivers an impressive 300 horsepower. But that’s not the end of this car’s powertrain story.

Each rear wheel is individually spun by a 60 horsepower electric motor. See, that’s where the “hybrid” part of the car’s name comes in.

Crunching the numbers, carrying the three and dividing by zero results in a combined output rating of 420 horsepower… in a YARIS! That’s crazy talk. Additionally, engineers have managed to dual purpose those rear-mounted motors; each one also serves as a generator.

SEE ALSO: Yaris Hybrid R Powertrain Detailed

Now, there’s also a third electric motor located between the engine and six-speed sequential transmission. It serves as a generator and it directly powers the rear-mounted motors during acceleration. A super capacitor tucked under the car’s rear seat stores surplus energy from regenerative braking.

Interestingly an exotic-sounding a super capacitor is actually a better power storage solution than the Yaris Hybrid’s standard nickel-metal hydride battery pack because it can charge and discharge larger amounts of juice very quickly. This is perfect for race driving because it can provide short bursts of acceleration.

SEE ALSO: 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show Coverage

Of course you can’t have a concept car without a unique styling, and the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R rides on 18-inch wheels that are shod in high-performance rubber, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires to be precise. Additionally, it features new headlights, a wider front grille and various blue accents.

It’s extremely unlikely this 420-horsepower sub-compact car will ever make it into production, but if nothing else it’s at least functional, which is more than you can say about other concepts. Toyota actually drove it at the Spa racetrack in Belgium.

GALLERY: Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept Live Shots

GALLERY: Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept

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Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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  • Chuck Chuck on Sep 16, 2013

    Dividing by zero is a mathematical impossibility. Any attempt to do so by the car's computer, and the Yaris comes to a screeching halt.