Toyota has released the first official photos of the European-spec 2012 Yaris ahead of its launch in the United Kingdom this summer. The new hatchback offers more interior room than before, as well as an improved set of options.
Chief among the new equipment list is a 6.1-inch touchscreen interface called Toyota Touch & Go. It will become standard on 95 percent of Yaris models sold in Europe. The car’s body has grown several inches, permitting more space for passengers. New styling includes a nose more closely mirroring the corporate grille of other Toyota models.
The new Yarisis said to have higher-quality interior materials and a more driver-focused cabin than before; instead of the weird center-mounted gauges of the prior Yaris, this version locates the instrument cluster directly in front of the driver. Europeans get a choice between 1.0- and 1.33-liter gasoline engines, and a 1.4-liter diesel.
The launch of the European Yaris was preceded by the debut of its Japanese version, the Vitz, in late 2010. That car has an optional all-wheel-drive system, whereas in all other markets the Yaris only has front-wheel drive.
We had an early look at the third-generation Yaris in the form of the Yaris HSD concept at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. The HSD will help Toyota reach its stated goal of offering an all-hybrid lineup in Europe by 2020. It has a form of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive under the hood, but Toyota hasn’t been any more specific than that. The Yaris HSD is slated for production at some point in the future, but it has virtually no chance of coming to the U.S. market.
At some point, Toyota will probably bring the third-generation Yaris to American shores. For now, though, there’s no confirmation of when that might happen.