At the Frankfurt Auto Show this week, Toyota presented a new concept based on its Yaris hatchback that leverages the automaker’s hybrid technology developed for its TS030 Hybrid Le Mans prototype. While the new concept, labeled the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R, is not destined for production, its styling, technology and performance positioning all hint at a new range of sporty offerings due from Toyota.

In particular, it’s the technology that we’ll see in future Toyotas, which are likely to be grouped under a new performance sub-brand. Toyota already has TRD but may reserve this for its accessories range. Instead, we’re more likely to see the Japanese automaker utilize the name of its German motorsport unit TMG. A “Hybrid-R” badge is also expected to feature on those sporty Toyotas featuring hybrid technology.  

TMG ‘Global Race Engine’ on the dyno

TMG ‘Global Race Engine’ on the dyno

TMG, a former F1 constructor and now responsible for Toyota’s Le Mans program, developed the high-output engine featured in the Yaris Hybrid-R concept.

The engine is TMG’s Global Race Engine, which is still being developed but is already capable of extracting 300 horsepower--reliably--from just 1.6 liters of displacement.    

In the Yaris Hybrid-R, this engine is paired with a sophisticated electric drive system forming a through-the-road all-wheel-drive setup. The engine powers the front axle while two electric motors power the rear one. A third electric motor integrated with the engine serves to direct power to the rear electric motors (or capacitor/battery storage systems) by acting as a generator and converting excess torque to electrical energy. A similar system is featured in Ferrari’s LaFerrari supercar.

Where might we see such technology in production form? One possibility is in the off-rumored successor to the legendary Supra sports car. Toyota’s GT 86 and Scion FR-S twins are also potential recipients of the technology, albeit in detuned form.

For more from the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show, click here.


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