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Toyota Yaris hybrid concept revealed

by Brett Hamilton on 09/03/2011

Comments: 0

The Yaris HSD concept that was recently revealed at the Geneva Show not only showcases the new design direction for the forthcoming Yaris, set for launch later this year, but also marks an important step in the Japanese company’s plans to have all of its models in Europe on hybrid power as “early as possible in the 2020s”.

The Yaris HSD is set for production at Toyota’s Valenciennes plant in France and will go on sale in Europe during the second half of 2012. It will join the Auris HSD that is already on sale in European showrooms, but obviously targets younger buyers in the massive, and growing, B-segment of the market.

According to the company, “The current growth of the B-segment is one aspect of a shift in public demand. Customers are becoming more receptive to new technologies. There is also a significant increase in the number of customers who are making engine type their primary purchase consideration. Public perception of hybrid has matured to the point where it now ranks as a clear alternative to diesel or petrol engines.”

Globally, the number of people opting for hybrids is increasing steadily and has doubled in the past two years. Going on sales data in South Africa we have not yet reached this milestone, but models such as the Prius, Honda Insight and CR-Z have gone a long way in changing public perceptions – especially since these vehicles do not represent a significant departure from their “normal” counterparts.

Fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions have always been important selling points in the B-segment. Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive will carry these forward with the additional benefit of offering fully-electric driving capability – a function that is particularly effective in urban environments. In all-electric EV mode the system produces zero CO2, NOx and particulate emissions.

We can only imagine that with the correct pricing strategy, models such as the Auris HSD and especially the popular Yaris HSD will go a long way in making green technology available to the majority of the motoring public in South Africa. But, as is the case with the Prius c concept, Toyota South Africa will only go as far as to say that all hybrid vehicles [such as the Prius c, Auris HSD and Yaris HSD] are under consideration for local availability. If it offers a viable business case, the Yaris HSD will make its way to South Africa shortly after its European launch and Toyota hopes that the Auris HSD could be here before the year is out.

Good news for local buyers is the fact that the new Yaris will be making its way to South Africa very soon after its international début later this year. There is not a heck of a lot of information available about the car: it carries over the overall proportions of the current car, but with a fettled interior, sharper exterior design and even more space and practicality in the cabin.

  • Johan

    Great stuff! Does anybody know when the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt will be available in South Africa?

  • Miguel

    The new Yaris is the grown up supermini! Quite nice style. Bravo Toyota! Seems a real contender to the Fiesta.

  • Cruiz

    I think Toyota should really keep this hybrid Yaris as close to this as possible.

    Their new Yaris has a redesigned shape and both will look distinctive enough.

    But what about the Toyota Aygo? Carmagazine said its about to be released here but I cant find any info outside their mag to support this claim.