First Look: 2012 Toyota Yaris Hybrid

toyota-yaris-hybrid

The 2012 auto show season is well underway with the Detroit show this week, and Toyota is wasting no time preparing for the Geneva Motor Show in March. The automaker has released the first official photos and details of the Yaris Hybrid ahead of its Geneva debut.

The Yaris Hybrid will be Europe's first full hybrid in the B-segment, and much like the Prius c, the fuel-sipping Yaris will house a downsized 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle engine connected to a smaller electric motor, inverter, and battery pack. The more compact components result in a system that is 20 percent lighter than the Auris Hybrid, which uses the same powertrain found in the Prius. Combined peak output is rated at just under 100 hp, which is sent to the wheels by a CVT.

While the powetrain has shrunk in size, space inside the Yaris Hybrid has not. Because the fuel tank and the battery pack are placed underneath the rear seat, Toyota says the hybrid will offer the same passenger volume and 10 cubic feet of cargo volume as its conventional gasoline and diesel variants.

On the exterior, the Yaris Hybrid wears a more aggressive front fascia, blue-trimmed badges, and LED taillights. It is slated to arrive in UK showrooms in early summer.

Although we probably won't see the Yaris Hybrid here, do you think Toyota should bring it to U.S. shores?

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