Filed under: Budget , Sedan , Safety , Hatchback , Chevrolet , Ford , Honda , Hyundai , Kia , Mazda , Mitsubishi , Nissan , Toyota The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and its challenging small-overlap crash test have passed judgment. In testing of nearly a dozen minicars, only one vehicle scored an acceptable rating on the ultra-tough test, which was instituted in August 2012. The Chevrolet Spark was the only car out of 11 to net an “Acceptable” rating in the small-overlap test and the only one to be named a 2014 Top Safety Pick . The IIHS has four rating levels – Poor, Marginal, Acceptable and Good. The Mazda2 , Kia Rio , Toyota Yaris and 2014 Ford Fiesta all netted “Marginal” scores on the small-overlap test, while the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage , Nissan Versa , Toyota Prius C , Hyundai Accent , Fiat 500 and Honda Fit all netted “Poor” ratings. We’ve posted the full score result sheet to the right . “Small, lightweight vehicles have an inherent safety disadvantage. That’s why it’s even more important to choose one with the best occupant protection,” said Joe Nolan, IIHS’ senior VP for vehicle research. “Unfortunately, as a group, minicars aren’t performing as well as other vehicle categories in the small overlap crash.” Scroll down for the official press release from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Continue reading IIHS tests 11 minicars, finds them wanting in small-overlap crash test IIHS tests 11 minicars, finds them wanting in small-overlap crash test originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 22 Jan 2014 00:01:00 EST.
Filed under: Concept Cars , 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show , Motorsports , Hybrid , Performance , Europe , Hatchback , Toyota Did you know that the Yaris is Toyota’s best-selling vehicle in Europe? That may help explain to us Americans why the car that’s lowest on the company’s totem poll here in the US got turned into an all-wheel-drive hybrid track monster for the 2013 Frankfurt Monster Show . Called the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R , this three-door pocket rocket isn’t just a hybrid making a lot of horsepower – it incorporates technology from Toyota’s TS030 Hybrid racecar that competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship series, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans . The Yaris Hybrid-R packs a 300-horsepower, turbocharged, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine under its hood, which should be enough for most speed freaks, but Toyota pairs it with two 60-hp electric motors at each rear wheel (the same ones used in the production Yaris Hybrid that’s sold in Europe). That makes total system output an insane-for-this-size 420 hybrid horsies. But that’s not all, as the Yaris Hybrid-R forgoes the traditional battery pack below the rear seats in favor of a supercapacitor, which can both hold more energy and has a much faster power charge/discharge speed than traditional batteries. Paired with the supercapacitor is a third 60-hp electric motor/generator positioned between the engine and six-speed sequential transmission. Its job is to feed the super capacitor energy during deceleration and direct its power to the rear electric motors when more grip and oomph is needed. Indeed, the powertrain for this through-the-road hybrid is decidedly more high-tech and competition-spec oriented than the somewhat boy race appearance package suggests, though we dig the 18-inch TRD wheels wrapped in proper Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires and Recaro seats. And it’s not just a track warrior, as Toyota engineers have given it both Track and Road driving modes, though a track is the only place you would ever see the Yaris Hybrid-R’s potential fully realized.
Filed under: Concept Cars , Frankfurt Motor Show , Hybrid , Performance , Hatchback , Toyota Toyota has been known to make some exciting cars over the years, but its hybrids, well… let’s just say a Prius appeals to a different kind of buyer. The TS030 Hybrid LMP1 , on the other hand, now that’s more our speed. And at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week, the Japanese industrial giant will bridge the gap with the concept car you see here. Previewed in bits and pieces along the way, Toyota has now revealed the full details and array of photos of its new Yaris Hybrid-R concept. And what the full picture reveals is a Prius C that’s gone to the gym – or more appropriately, the track. Powering this little pocket rocket is TMG’s Global Racing Engine: a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder with direct injection and a Garett turbocharger to drive 300 horsepower to the front wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox. A pair of electric motors provide an extra 60 hp to each of the rear wheels for a combined output of 420 hp and through-the-road all-wheel drive. A third 60-hp electric motor serves as traction control under acceleration and acts as a generator under braking to feed the TS030-derived super capacitor that boasts a higher power density and faster charge/discharge speed than a traditional battery. The system can provide a 40-horse boost for 10 seconds in Road mode, or the full 120 hp for five seconds in Track mode.
Filed under: Concept Cars , Frankfurt Motor Show , Hybrid , Technology , Hatchback , Toyota , Racing The Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept has been teased already, offering up little glimpses and details of the Frankfurt -bound vehicle. And while those few, shadowy shots have been great, we’ve really wanted to know how this hatchback would deliver its promised 400-plus horsepower. Under hood sits a 1.6-liter, race-derived, direct-injection, turbocharged four-cylinder that powers the front wheels. Sounds peachy, but with 414 horsepower splashed across the page, we’re going to need something more than a 1.6-liter, turbo four. A supercapacitor, developed from the Toyota TS030 Hybrid Le Mans racer sits in place of a hybrid’s traditional battery packs. The benefit, according to Toyota , is that power can be more rapidly absorbed and discharged than in a traditional battery system, like nickel metal-hydride. The gas engine is joined by a trio of 60-horsepower electric motors. Two of the them power the rear wheels, while the third sits between the engine and the six-speed, sequential gearbox. Developing the same amount of power as the rear-axle motors, this centrally located motor channels power to the race-derived supercapacitor during braking, and ships extra grunt to the rear wheels under acceleration when the front wheels start to lose grip. Besides the distributive power of the central motor, the rear electric motors can adjust the amount of torque flowing to each wheel, much like a differential.
Filed under: Concept Cars , Frankfurt Motor Show , Hybrid , Performance , Hatchback , Toyota Toyota has undeniably carved out a niche for itself as the industry’s leader in hybrid propulsion. What started out with the original Prius in 1997 has, over the past sixteen years, ballooned to what Toyota reports as a global hybrid portfolio of 23 models. But few (if any of them) are particularly exciting. That’s where the Yaris Hybrid-R concept comes in. Set to be showcased along with the rest of Toyota’s hybrid and fuel-cell lineup at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show next month, the concept starts with one of the Japanese auto giant’s least exciting models and upgrades it to more enticing territory. Toyota Motorsport GmbH – the same Cologne, Germany-based division that operated the company’s F1 team, currently runs its Le Mans program and gave us that bonkers 650-horsepower Lexus LS – has slotted in a version of Toyota’s new 1.6-liter Global Race Engine and paired it with a couple of electric motors for hybrid propulsion and through-the-road all-wheel drive. Like the TS030 Hybrid LMP1 , the Yaris Hybrid-R concept uses a super capacitor (instead of a conventional battery) to store the regenerated brake energy and give it upwards of 400 horsepower. That’s about all Toyota is revealing at this point, but this is the first time it has confirmed the project is based on a Yaris, of all things, and the confirmation comes with the solitary teaser rendering you see above. Check out the press release after the jump and watch this space for more as Frankfurt fast approaches. Continue reading Toyota gives up more information on Frankfurt-bound Yaris Hybrid-R concept Toyota gives up more information on Frankfurt-bound Yaris Hybrid-R concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 19 Aug 2013 17:58:00 EST.
Filed under: Budget , Recalls , Safety , Hatchback , Toyota Toyota has announced it is recalling a total of 185,000 vehicles worldwide for a power steering issue. Yaris and (overseas) Vitz models built between November 2010 and March 2012 could suffer a short circuit in their power steering control module if water gets inside. Should that happen, the power steering could fail, increasing effort when turning. The recall also includes the Verso-S and Ractis built from August 2010 to August 2011. The recall covers 130,000 vehicles in Japan and around 22,450 in Europe. Only 74 units are being recalled in the United States. Toyota says if the fault occurs, the vehicle will display the Electronic Power Steering warning light on the dash and a buzzer will sound. The automaker will alert owners by mail and dealers will replace the power steering control module free of charge. You can read the quick press release on the recall below for more information. Continue reading Toyota to recall 185k cars globally, including Yaris Toyota to recall 185k cars globally, including Yaris originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 04 Jul 2013 08:02:00 EST.
Filed under: Budget , Plants/Manufacturing , Hatchback , Mazda , Toyota Mazda and Toyota have announced a partnership to produce a new vehicle for our market. Mazda will build a subcompact economy car for North America based on its own Mazda2 at its soon-to-be-finished facility in Mexico for sale under the Toyota banner. The plant will build around 50,000 units per year once production begins in during the summer of 2015, leaving a further 90,000-unit capacity for Mazda vehicles. Toyota has invested a proportional amount of funds in the plant’s production equipment to offset the cost, and hopes to have a more competitive North American lineup as a result of the collaboration. Mazda, meanwhile gains the benefit of spreading production costs over a greater number of vehicles per year. The move certainly makes sense as Japanese manufacturers look to send more manufacturing out of Japan in the face of the stronger yen. In addition, last year’s earthquake and tsunami disasters underscored the need for a production network capable of flexibly responding to localized disasters, leaving many Japanese automakers with production delays and thin supply. Mazda, meanwhile, has increasingly sought outside assistance with its manufacturing and engineering efforts as it looks to turn a profit again. The company recently courted Italian automaker Fiat in a tie-up that will see Mazda develop the platform for the next-generation MX-5 Miata and an Alfa Romeo roadster. As for the new partnership, while Toyota isn’t saying what this subcompact model will be called, we have to wonder if it’s a next-generation Yaris .
Filed under: Aftermarket , Sedan , Performance , Europe , Japan , Lexus , Toyota , Luxury Toyota is getting serious about building performance versions of its current models. The manufacturer hopes to turn Toyota Motorsport GmbH, the crew behind the Toyota Le Mans effort and the automaker’s now defunct Formula One team, into a factory-backed tuner. TMG currently handles almost everything motorsport related for Toyota with the exception of engine building, and the group is currently hard at work on what could develop into a World Rally Championship entry in the near future. TMG is shooting for a WRC debut in 2014 with a turbocharged 1.6-liter Yaris , and buyers will be able to purchase an FIA version of the model for around €25,000. According to Yoshiaki Kinoshita, president of TMG, the organization will also prepare high-performance versions of Lexus vehicles. That helps explain the Lexus LS460 TMG Edition our photographers spotted at the N
Torrance, Calif., May 14, 2012 — With sales up 140 percent in April and 70 percent for the year, the 2012 subcompact Toyota Yaris proves to be an outstanding choice for performance, comfort, fuel efficiency and safety.