Beneath the three-door Yaris Hybrid R’s bonnet lurks a 223kW, 1.6-litre direct injection turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed sequential transmission. Moving towards the back reveals two 45kW motors powering each rear wheel. The engines combine to give a total output of 313kW.
To put that in context, the HSV Clubsport produces 317kW from its 6.2-litre V8.
The Hybrid R’s two electric motors also work as generators, storing energy during braking which is then used to supplement the petrol engine during acceleration.
The energy recovered under braking is stored in a super capacitor battery, instead of the traditional nickel-metal hydride used by Toyota's production vehicles. Toyota says such a battery is better suited to track-driving and performance cars because it charges more quickly and discharges speed more readily than traditional hybrid batteries.
Toyota has also engineered the car’s hybrid system to respond to the type of driving the car is undergoing. When in Road mode, the super capacitor produces a maximum of 30kW for up to 10 seconds, while when set to Track mode, the car’s electric motors produce their maximum 90kW output for periods of up to five seconds, reflecting the higher frequency of braking and acceleration during track driving.
The Hybrid R also features an advanced traction control system designed to intervene only when the car senses the engine’s power and torque output has exceeded the grip potential of its two front wheels. A third electric motor, located between the engine and transmission, redirects power to the car's two rear motors, helping drive power away from the front wheels, and sending it to the rear.
Toyota claims this ability to direct power and torque to the car’s rear wheels improves the car’s handling. Functioning much like a torque vectoring differential, the third motor can send more torque to the car’s outside rear wheel if the driver wants to corner at a higher speed, or it can apply more braking force to the inside rear wheel during fast curves to limit slip.
The Yaris Hybrid R concept will debut in Frankfurt on September 10.