Toyota’s Yaris hybrid concept anticipates B-segment hybrid strategy with first downsizing of HSD; Prius +
|Yaris HSD concept. Click to enlarge.|
Making its world debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the Yaris HSD concept anticipates Toyota’s intention to bring its full hybrid Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) technology to the B-segment, the biggest volume segment in Europe. This marks Toyota’s first downsizing of its HSD technology.
The Yaris hybrid will be made in the second half of next year at the Valenciennes plant in Northern France, underlining Toyota’s clear commitment to Europe, said Didier Leroy, President of Toyota Motor Europe, at the launch. Toyota aims to bring full hybrid technology to every main European model as early as possible in the 2020s, and introduced the Auris HSD to the C-segment in 2010, equipped with the same powertrain as the Prius. (Earlier post.)
|“Two years ago, 8% of European customers said they wanted their next vehicle to be a hybrid. Today that figure has doubled, to 16%.”|
Solar panels have been applied to the entire roof surface of the Yaris HSD concept. This engineering solution targets the independent powering of the air-conditioning unit for improved full hybrid powertrain fuel economy.
Introducing full hybrid technology into the B-segment presented Toyota with several unique engineering challenges. For one, the new powertrain must be optimized for installation within the vehicle’s compact, efficient packaging design, without detriment to either system quality and performance, or passenger accommodation and loadspace. For the Yaris, as one example, Toyota reduced battery weight and size, Leroy said.
This comprehensive repackaging of HSD technology is essential to meeting the growing market demand for urban-based family vehicles, without compromising either interior space or hybrid performance, Toyota said.
Prius+. Toyota also introduced the Prius+ (earlier post), Europe’s first full hybrid seven-seater. The latest generation of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain found in Prius+ includes a lithium-ion battery pack, installed entirely beneath the second row seating. (The smaller Prius v introduced in January at the Detroit show features a NiMH pack.)
As in the standard Prius, the Prius+ features three on-demand drive modes to increase the capabilities of the full hybrid powertrain, including the EV mode for zero emissions, zero fuel consumption, all-electric driving.
This new vehicle offers three, independent, split/folding second row seats and a 50:50 split/folding third tier. Prius+ will be on sale in the first half of 2012.