The Yaris' standalone hybrid sibling enters its second generation in Japan, with a new look, overhauled underpinnings, more tech and a new battery.
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The 2022 Toyota Aqua has been revealed in Japan, as the second generation of the car previously sold in Australia as the Prius C.

However, unlike the first-generation model, the new Prius C/Aqua won't come to Australia, with the role of a city-sized hybrid hatchback filled in the Toyota Australia range by the new Yaris Hybrid.

An evolutionary step forward beyond its predecessor, the new Aqua (as we'll refer to it from here on) blends its predecessor's large front grille, vertical tail-lights and 'flared' rear wheel arches with an upswept C-pillar drawing similarities to the new Yaris.

Riding on the same 'TNGA-B' architecture as the Yaris, the new Aqua measures 4050mm long, 1695mm wide and 1485mm high, riding on a 2600mm wheelbase – 30mm taller, and 50mm longer in wheelbase than its predecessor.

Powering the model is a hybrid system, pairing a 1.5-litre petrol engine with a new bipolar nickel-hydrogen battery – claimed to be the first vehicle in the world to use the battery technology.

Versus the outgoing Aqua's nickel-hydrogen battery (also called a nickel-metal hydride battery), Toyota claims the new unit offers twice as much power, with improved response, smoother acceleration, and a longer all-electric range. Toyota quotes combined fuel economy of 2.8L/100km according to Japanese testing procedures – a 20 per cent improvement over the outgoing model.

A power output isn't quoted, though expect a figure similar to the Yaris' 85kW. A choice of front-wheel drive or E-Four all-wheel drive is offered. Like many all-electric vehicles, the hybrid city car can charge home electrical appliances during a blackout, thanks to a household socket supporting up to 1500W.

Inside, the new Aqua debuts a new 10.5-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, joining a digitised instrument binnacle in front of the driver, electrically-adjustable synthetic leather seats for front occupants, and an array of cabin storage areas.

The new model sees the addition of Toyota's Safety Sense suite of driver assistance aids, including autonomous emergency braking (with intersection support), all-speed adaptive cruise control, lane-centring assist, automatic parking, and a system preventing drivers mistakenly applying the accelerator at low speeds, rather than the brake.

The 2022 Toyota Aqua will go on sale in Japan in the coming weeks. A total of 1.87 million Prius C/Aqua vehicles have been sold globally – 9758 of which rolled out of Australian showrooms over the Prius C's nine-year run locally.

The new model won't come to Australia.


Below: The outgoing Toyota Prius C