Toyota’s top-selling European model, the Yaris, is moving to a new generation next year – the first official images and details have been revealed.
The fourth-generation Yaris hatchback has been redesigned from the ground up, with a new platform and a three-cylinder hybrid powertrain designed specifically for the new car. As with previous Yaris generations, the new premium hatchback has been designed in Europe with European customers in mind.
The design itself is said to be more “condensed and agile” than its predecessor, with the aim of banishing the MPV-like proportions of that car. Enabled by the new GA-B platform, there’s a significant 40mm reduction in roof height, without, Toyota claims, a significant loss in head room. It is also 50mm wider, with a 60mm wider track, while the wheelbase has increased by 50mm to boost passenger space. Despite this, the new car has actually reduced in length by 5mm. It means the Yaris is the only premium hatchback that is less than four metres long in the European market, aiding in-town manoeuvrability. A claimed best-in-class turning circle fits with this, too.
On the inside, Toyota claims the cabin follows its principle of ‘hands on the wheel, eyes on the road’, with a minimalist dashboard and infotainment screen mounted within the driver’s eyeline, alongside ‘binocular style’ instruments. The driving position has been improved, with a hip point 36mm lower than the old car and greater seat and wheel adjustment for a less upright seating point.
The Yaris will also get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, with an 8.0-inch touchscreen as standard and a larger display potentially offered on top models. It’s the first car in its class to feature a centrally mounted airbag system between the driver and passenger, while a comprehensive suite of driver aids is standard.
The European Yaris will be available with three petrol engines, all with three cylinders. A base 1.0-litre will be offered with a 5-speed manual gearbox, while a 1.5-litre will come with a 6-speed manual or CVT automatic option. There will also be a hybrid option, which will use the 1.5-litre unit mated to a 80hp, 140Nm electric motor and an air-cooled lithium-ion battery. This battery is 27 percent lighter than the nickel metal hydride pack it replaces, and is yet capable of delivering more power at a faster rate.
Toyota says the new GA-B platform, related to that of the Corolla and C-HR, offers best-in-class structural rigidity, at 40 percent more than the Mk3 Yaris, thanks to the use of high-tensile steel. Despite this, and the hybrid tech developments, engineers told our sister publication Autocar UK that the new Yaris will be around 20kg lighter than the old car, spec for spec. The platform’s lower centre of gravity, combined with the wider track and a stiffer rear torsion beam with softer spring rates, are said to improve both ride quality and handling composure.
Toyota is highly likely to produce a performance version of the new Yaris, according to Toyota Europe’s executive vice-president, Matt Harrison. The decision is part of a greater desire within Toyota to connect the brand’s Gazoo Racing (GR) motorsport activities to its road car range to help customers better understand the link.
The brand is expected to use a traditional combustion engine option for a Yaris GR. Reports suggest the Japanese carmaker may upsize from the current flagship 1.5-litre unit. The limited-run GRMN version of the outgoing Yaris sported a 1.8-litre supercharged petrol engine putting out 212hp.
Toyota is highly unlikely to bring the new Yaris hatchback to the Indian market, as we already get a Yaris sedan, which is based on an older platform. The Toyota Yaris midsize sedan available here – where it rivals the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Honda City and Hyundai Verna – is only offered in certain South East Asian and South American markets, with either the Yaris or Vios nameplate.
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