Replacing the current 63kW/121Nm 1.3-litre mill currently offered in European models, the new 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine develops 82kW of power and 136Nm of torque - a 19kW and 15Nm gain.
The new engine helps the Yaris get to 100km/h 0.8 seconds quicker, with the benchmark sprint now rated at 11.0 seconds, while 80km/h-120km/h is dealt with 1.2 seconds quicker (17.6 seconds vs. 18.8 seconds).
Other improvements include a 12 per cent reduction in fuel consumption, thanks to a high compression ratio of 13:5:1, extended variable valve timing and the ability to switch from Otto cycle to Atkinson style combustion.
Economy and emissions are also improved through the adoption of a water-cooled exhaust manifold, the first in a Toyota.
The technology limits the gas temperature thus avoiding the enrichment of the mixture necessary for reducing combustion temperature at any motorway speed, improving fuel economy and emissions under these driving conditions.
While the new engine will make its debut in European-delivered Yaris models, Toyota's local arm has ruled out the new unit for the facelifted 2017 range (pictured) when it arrives here in March.
Speaking with CarAdvice today, Toyota Australia product communications manager Stephen Coughlan confirmed the Yaris will be available with the same 63kW/121Nm 1.3-litre and 80kW/141Nm 1.5-litre units offered in the current model.
Also carried over are the five-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmissions.
Stay tuned for local pricing and specifications for the 2017 Toyota Yaris range, which will be detailed closer to the new model's March launch.