Frankfurt LIVE: Toyota Hybrid R concept

The 414-horsepower Hybrid-R is based on the Yaris hatchback.

Toyota is amping up its Yaris range in Europe with its new Hybrid R concept car that debuted this week at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The Yaris-based show car is powered by an advanced gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain similar in design to the one used by the TS030 Hybrid race car that competes in the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans. The setup consists of a heavily-modified 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mounted transversally in the engine bay, two electric motors installed on the rear axle, a third motor shoehorned between the engine and the gearbox and a race-derived supercapacitor capable of storing energy.

The combined power sources make 414 horsepower, roughly four times what the regular-production Yaris is rated at. Power is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox.

Under normal driving conditions, the Yaris is powered solely by the 300-horsepower gasoline-burning mill. The supercapacitor replaces the battery pack that is traditionally found in gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles and sends short bursts of power to the rear wheels in order to provide a boost under heavy acceleration. The third motor largely serves as a generator to charge the supercapacitor but it also transfers power to the rear wheels when it senses the front wheels are slipping.

To stand out from the regular Yaris, the Hybrid R concept is equipped with a bespoke front bumper that incorporates a row of blue LED daytime running lights, black and blue trim and a large air dam with honeycomb inserts. The back end is equally aggressive thanks to a trunk-mounted spoiler and a functional air diffuser, while 18-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels mounted on low-profile tires and side skirts with blue inserts finish off the race-bred look.

Interior pictures are not available but Toyota promises the cockpit offers pedals sourced from the Scion FR-S as well Alcantara upholstery on the Recaro bucket seats and on the door panels.

Although Toyota has not confirmed this, the concept is likely a one-off built for the auto show circuit and it will not join the frugal Yaris hatchback in showrooms.

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