Below I copied what I considered to be the most important parts in Toyota’s press release.
First a brief introduction.
- New Yaris ready to build on third generation model’s success, with market segment share rising to its highest recorded level
- Toyota’s European design and engineering teams take leading role in global project
- More than 900 new parts introduced in €90 million programme for the new Yaris
- Continued success of Yaris production by Toyota Motor Manufacturing France, both for European and global markets
- Design changes focus on giving the Yaris a more active and dynamic look and a more refinement and a modern interior
- Toyota commitment to safety sees Toyota Safety Sense active safety systems fitted as standard to all new Yaris models
- Yaris Hybrid engineered for even quieter performance and improved ride and steering
- Revised model range with new equipment grades targeting specific customer groups
The Yaris success story
The introduction of the new, significantly revised Yaris range is set to add to further impetus to the success of Toyota’s small hatchback. In fact, the car has continued to increase its share of the B-segment (supermini) market in Western Europe since the launch of the third generation of the model in 2011, rising to more than 6.5 per cent and 208,000-plus sales in the past year.
This performance provides a strong platform on which to strengthen the Yaris’ established qualities and broaden its appeal to new and increasingly discerning customers in a highly competitive marketplace. Design, quality, performance and safety are key purchase considerations and have been the focus areas for Toyota’s programme of improvements.
Hybrid power remains a unique selling point for the model, a powertrain option that is currently leveraging more than 40 per cent of all Yaris’ European sales.
The Yaris has a strong European heritage, having been manufactured at Toyota Motor Manufacturing France’s Valenciennes factory since 2001. Production passed three million units in 2016, with cars not only supplied throughout Europe, but also sent for export around the world, including Africa, North America and Middle East markets in Asia.
A global project, led by Europe
Toyota has handed much of the responsibility for shaping the new Yaris to its European operations, reflecting the strength and quality of the B-segment market in the region. Notably, this is the first time that changes developed for the Yaris in Europe will be adopted directly for its sister Vitz model, manufactured in Japan.
Going much deeper than a simple mid-life “facelift,” the €90 million programme sees the introduction of more than 900 new parts to improve the car’s design, dynamic performance and safety. The car’s new look, with significant changes to the front and rear styling, has been created at Toyota’s ED2 design studio in the South of France,
Now the hybrid stuff part…
- Yaris Hybrid remains unique proposition in its segment, with best-in-class CO2 emissions
- Yaris Hybrid noise and vibration levels reduced with new engine mounts, roll restrictor, front driveshafts and subframe
- New-design engine mounts, shock absorber adjustments and retuned electric power steering improve Yaris Hybrid’s ride comfort and steering accuracy
- New 1.5-litre petrol engine with VVT-iE, offering more torque and power but higher efficiency and lower emissions than previous 1.33-litre unit
- Improvement in fuel economy of up to 12 per cent
Improved hybrid powertrain performance
Yaris remains unique in the B-segment in giving customers the option of hybrid power and the chance to experience the smooth, relaxed and intuitive drive Toyota’s world-leading technology provides, together with excellent fuel economy and best-in-class exhaust emissions (from 75g/km CO2). In developing the new Yaris, Toyota engineers listened to customer feedback to understand where improvements might be made to achieve an even quieter and more comfortable ride with better handling and steering accuracy.
Driveco revealing the real benefits of hybrid driving to Toyota hybrid customers
Toyota is deploying a smart data-gathering tool to help European retailers demonstrate to customers how hybrid technology works and the real benefits it can deliver.
The Driveco box is already being used in seven European markets for Hybrid models including Yaris Hybrid and is set for pilot trials in nine more. An automatic driver log system, it collects data on test drive journey distances, times and average speeds, plus the proportion of the journey in which car operates in all-electric EV mode, with zero fuel consumption and zero tailpipe emissions. The information can be downloaded and viewed using a smartphone or tablet app, along with comparisons with previous performance, and with the levels achieved by other drivers.
Driveco has already logged data from 900 Yaris Hybrids and more than half a million kilometres of driving in all kinds of environments, from city centres to mountain routes. The combined results reveal that together the cars have operated in EV mode for more than 54% of the time, achieving real-world average fuel consumption of 5.0l/100km.
An even quieter drive
Although Toyota hybrids are noted for their quiet performance, new Yaris’ engineers undertook a thorough review to ascertain where improvements in noise and vibration levels could be made, in particular to reduce any noise intrusion from the powertrain under acceleration.
As a result, a comprehensive range of measures has been introduced, including the installation of redesigned engine mounts, a larger engine roll restrictor, new front driveshafts and front subframe and a modified air box intake system. Additionally, the exhaust system has been adjusted with a new sub-silencer.
Ride comfort and handling
The new engine mount design also helps the new Yaris Hybrid deliver a more comfortable ride, with less vehicle shake caused by engine movement when driving over uneven surfaces. Changes have also been made to the shock absorbers’ damping force and valve design to enhance comfort while maintaining handling performance.
The electric power steering has been tuned for less friction feel and smoother response to driver inputs. Cornering traceability has been improved by more closely aligning the driver’s steering effort with the vehicle’s response.
And finally the safety part.
- Toyota Safety Sense active safety systems fitted as standard to all new Yaris models
- The package includes Pre-Collision System with Autonomous Emergency Braking, Automatic High Beam, Lane Departure Alert and Road Sign Assist*
- Rear seat belts with force limiters and pretensioners
Toyota Safety Sense as standard
Toyota puts safety at the heart of its commitment to building ever-better cars, ensuring that the benefits of advanced technologies are not limited to high-end, high-specification models, but are made available across the board. True to this ethos, it has made Toyota Safety Sense a standard feature on all new Yaris models.
This ensures that every car in the line-up is equipped with systems that can help prevent an accident happening, or lessen the consequences if an impact does occur. The package includes a Pre-Collision System with Autonomous Emergency Braking, Automatic High Beam, Lane Departure Alert and, on models higher than Entry grade, Road Sign Assist.
The pre-collision system uses a front-mounted laser to monitor the road ahead, warning the driver of an imminent collision risk and preparing the brakes to deliver emergency braking the moment the brake pedal is pressed. If the driver fails to respond to the warning, the system will trigger Autonomous Emergency Braking to slow the car to reduce the severity of any impact.
Automatic High Beam detects both the headlights of oncoming traffic and the tail lights of vehicles ahead, automatically switching between low and high beam to avoid dazzling other drivers, while maintaining the best possible illumination for night-time driving.
The Lane Departure Alert monitors lane markings on the road surface and helps prevent accidents caused by the vehicle moving out of its lane. If the Yaris begins to deviate from its lane without the turn indicators being used, the system alerts the driver visual and audible warnings.
Road Sign Assist helps ensure drivers are kept informed about key road warnings and commands, even if they have driven past a road sign without noticing it. The system recognises signs such as speed limits and “no overtaking” restrictions and presents them on the colour TFT multi-information display in the driver’s combimeter. If the driver exceeds the speed limit, the system will activate a warning light and buzzer.
To improve safety for people on board, the rear seatbelts now feature force limiters and pretensioners. The head restraints have been redesigned to provide better protection against whiplash injury and the shape of the curtain airbags has been revised. Child seat installation has been made easier with adjustments to the Isofix anchoring system and labelling.
*Road Sign Assist not available on Entry grade
In Europe where the B-segment (supermini) rules, it’s nice to see a small and affordable hybrid car model full with safety features. Until recently this kind of safety features were only present in larger and more expensive cars.
Toyota regularly offers generous discounts for its Yaris Hybrid car which put it below 15.000 € in many European countries. For this price-tag, a Yaris Hybrid can be a good stop gap car until 2020, which is when almost every automaker will have at least one electric car model on sale.
Another reason why I think that the Toyota Yaris is one car model we should be paying attention to is the fact that Toyota – after many years despising electric cars – recently admitted that electric cars make sense, at least as small city cars that don’t need much range. Some Toyota’s representatives even revealed that we could see an all electric version of the small AYGO or Yaris in the coming years. Considering that the Yaris already has a hybrid version, it’s a much better candidate to get an all electric version than the AYGO. A Toyota Yaris EV would be a great alternative to the Renault Zoe, the best selling electric car in Europe.
The 2017 Toyota Yaris will debut next month at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show and it’s expected to be on sale in April.