Toyota still holds itself atop a mantle of greenness, environmental consciousness to a point of borderline extremism. You know that because of the hybrids it makes. But what happens when Toyota goes a little off the deep end?
The answer may just be the Toyota Hybrid-R concept car. Debuting at next month’s Frankfurt Auto Show, the Toyota Hybrid-R uses a new 1.6-liter four-cylinder that it calls its Global Race Engine, specially built by Toyota Racing Development for performance cars. Accompanying it are two electric motors to give the Yaris Hybrid-R all-wheel drive. Toyota says the drivetrain will borrow technology from its TS030 Le Mans prototype car, using brake-energy recapture to help the electric motors keep up juice. That, in turn, helps power the car out of corners. The upshot: A fast little car.
Rumor has it that the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R will produce upwards of 400 horsepower, which would be quite a bit more than the 106 horsepower generated by the current Yaris’ 1.5-liter engine. Toyota sells a Yaris Hybrid in Europe and much of the rest of the world, but it has been repackaged and sold as the Prius c in the U.S.
As well as showing off with its Hybrid-R, Toyota is planning to show off its latest developments in hydrogen fuel cell technology and celebrate its 16 years of hybrid sales, combining for 5.5 million cars.
Toyota has always been a greenie, but we’ll keep you up to date if the Japanese automaker will become a meanie at this year’s Frankfurt show as we get more details.