2020 Toyota Yaris
2020 Toyota Yaris

SET to arrive mid-next year, the 2020 Toyota Yaris represents a genuine step change in ride, handling and style, bringing with it a first in Toyota safety features, a centre airbag, as well as offering a more compact and sportier design.

Built on Toyota’s new global architecture (TNGA) philosophy, the new-generation Yaris delivers an enhanced driving experience thanks to the high body rigidity, lower centre of gravity and optimised driving position it provides.

A longer wheelbase ensures the Yaris is agile and maneuverable in city driving and parking, while contributing to generous occupant space. The new platform has also enabled a reduction in overall height without compromising headroom.

Lower seating for the driver and passengers and a lower cowl height contributes to better vision for the driver. Safety is enhanced with the addition of the centre airbag, designed to protect front seat occupants in the event of a side impact.

Next year’s Yaris also adopts a pre-collision safety system that goes beyond the current ability to detect vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. The latest system can prevent accidents when turning at intersections by detecting oncoming vehicles and pedestrians.

These Toyota first safety features will be standard on Yaris for Australia, in addition to autonomous emergency braking, all speed active cruise control, lane centering and other advanced technologies.

The Yaris will be offered in Australia with two newly developed power trains that utilise high speed combustion technology to achieve low fuel consumption and high output, including a new 1.5-litre 3-cylinder dynamic force petrol engine.

It’s mated to a direct shift CVT, with mechanical launch gear, while a new generation hybrid system uses an Atkinson cycle version of the engine, and a high density lithium-ion battery.

Both systems deliver an engaging and crisp response around town while delivering smooth, relaxed and comfortable driving on longer journeys. The hybrid package is directly derived from the larger system used in the Corolla, RAV4 and Camry.

Sharp new headlights feature LED technology while the rear view integrates combination taillights and the rear window into a new three dimensional form. The interior design follows a ‘less-is-more’ principle, creating an open and spacious area for occupants too.

Information is presented clearly and directly to the driver from up to three interlinked sources, including the central touch display screen, a multi information display in the instrument cluster and an available 10-inch colour head-up display.

Pricing and specifications for the 2020 Toyota Yaris will be released closer to launch.

Hot on the heels of the unveiling of the new Yaris, Toyota has revealed details of a new, production ready ultra compact battery electric vehicle (BEV), ahead of a planned commercial launch in Japan late next year.

Development chief Akihiro Yanaka said the vehicle, which is less than 2.5-metres long and 1.3-metres wide, is a next generation mobility solution designed to cover short distances while limiting impact on the environment.

“We want to create a mobility solution that can support Japan’s ageing society and provide freedom of movement to people at all stages of life,” Mr Yanaka said.

“With the ultra compact BEV, we are proud to offer customers a vehicle that not only allows for greater autonomy, but also requires less space, creates less noise and limits environmental impact.”

The ultra compact, two-seater is specifically designed to meet the daily mobility needs of customers who make regular, short distance trips such as the elderly, newly licenced drivers or business people visiting local customers.

It has a range of approximately 100km on a single charge, reaches a maximum speed of 60km/h, and features an extremely tight turning radius. The BEV is part of plans for a new business model too, designed to promote wider adoption of battery electric vehicles.

In the near term, Toyota will focus on expanded leasing initiatives designed to recapture used batteries for evaluation and re-use, as appropriate, in pre-owned vehicles, as service parts, or even in non-automobile applications.

Toyota is also developing peripheral services for battery electric vehicles such as recharging stations and insurance. The vehicle will be displayed at this month’s Tokyo Motor Show, along with the Toyota i-ROAD and three different “walking area” BEVs.

Toyota Ultra Compact BEV concept
Toyota Ultra Compact BEV concept

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