Toyota may have pulled the plug on the Echo in the US, but has just released a fully redesigned of the Japanese market version of the car, the Vitz. The company is targeting Japanese sales of at least 10,000 units per month—a hot seller in any market.
The new Vitz models offer 1.0-liter, 1.3-liter and 1.5-liter engines with VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing–intelligent) and continuously variable transmissions to provide higher performance while maintaining low fuel consumption.
Toyota is also implementing its stop-start system—Intelligent Idling Stop System—in the redesigned Vitz.
Using a Li-Ion battery/starter system implemented with the CVT, the stop-start system helps lower the Vitz fuel consumption to 25.5
liters/km kilometers/liter (60 mpg) in the 1.0-liter version. This is an 8.5% improvement over the previous version of the Vitz with IISS (released in 2003), and, according to Toyota, is the best gasoline fuel consumption in Japan, excluding minivehicles and hybrid vehicles.
CO2 emissions from the 1.0-liter Vitz with IISS are a low 94.8 g/km.
Toyota also implemented its Eco-VAS (Eco-Vehicle Assessment System)—a comprehensive environmental impact assessment system—for the first time in the new Vitz, resulting in a reduction of environmental impact throughout the entire life cycle of the vehicle from production to disposal.
Despite its failure in the US, the Vitz is popular elsewhere is the world. (It is sold as the Yaris in Europe.) The Vitz—including its international siblings—is the third-highest volume production Toyota model behind Corolla and Camry, with more than 2.5 million units sold in the five years. (Times of Oman)