Imagine a Prius c with all-wheel-drive and a race engine pushing over four-times the motive force and you have an idea of the 420-horsepower Yaris Hybrid-R.
Actually the Prius c is around one-and-a-half inches longer in wheelbase than the Yaris, and four inches longer overall, but the idea is close for the factory concept to be shown Sept. 10-22 in Frankfurt.
Today Toyota shared more powertrain details including that its core propulsion comes from a 1.6-liter, 300-horsepower, four-cylinder turbo.
This fire breather has direct injection developed by Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) to meet International Automobile Federation (FIA) rules for a Global Race Engine.
The “hybrid” part of the equation comes from a pair of standard-Yaris 60 horsepower motors at each rear wheel. Naturally, the motors generate electricity during braking as well as supplementing the engine under acceleration.
Where things differ is stored energy is contained in a supercapacitor as per TS030 HYBRID racer practice.
“The super capacitor has a higher power density and a fast power charge / discharge speed,” says Toyota. “It is perfectly suited to the requirements of sporty driving on track, which requires brief and immediate bursts of power.”
The car has a “road” and “track” mode to trim back or maximize power from the supercapacitor as needed.
A third 60-horsepower electric motor is also spec’d with this unique hybrid. It resides between the engine and the six-speed sequential transmission and operates either as a generator during deceleration to feed the super capacitor or during acceleration to directly power the rear electric motors.
The latter operation is only allowable when the engine power and torque exceed front wheel grip.
The effect is like an advanced traction control system, and the generator redirects power to the rear wheels to boost the acceleration and improve the handling.
Toyota’s special creation also features torque vectoring. The rear electric motors influence its handling characteristics during cornering by altering torque distribution between the left and right wheels.
Each motor can be used independently as a generator or a motor to achieve the same effect as an intelligent torque vectoring differential.
And, says Toyota:
“Depending on the radius of the curve, the system can send more torque to the outside rear wheel allowing higher cornering speeds into the corner (middle-speed curves), apply more braking force to the inside wheel (fast curves), or even brake and accelerate each wheel independently (slow curves) to adjust the yaw effect for a better line, to limit steering angle, and understeer.”
Is this car to save gas? Relatively speaking, perhaps, but with a gas engine delivering a superbike-like 187.5 horsepower per liter, it’s really meant to generate excitement for the brand.