By Bennett Oghifo
Toyota has unveiled a new-generation Yaris that delivers a step-change in the ride, handling and style of its most affordable model while debuting Toyota-first safety features including a centre airbag.
Toyota said in a statement that the all-new Yaris, due in Australia mid next year, features a powerful, taut design that is more compact and sportier while introducing Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) philosophy to the compact-car segment.
The new-generation Yaris sits on a newly developed TNGA platform and features responsive and efficient 1.5-litre petrol or hybrid-electric powertrains, a spacious interior with a new level of sensory quality, and advanced safety technologies across the range.
The new GA-B platform is central to the enhanced driving enjoyment of the all-new Yaris. It inspires confidence with accurate and agile performance derived from the TNGA benefits of high body rigidity (+30%1), low centre of gravity (-15mm1) and optimised driving position.
A 50mm1 longer wheelbase ensures Yaris is agile and manoeuvrable in city driving and parking, while contributing to generous occupant space.
The new platform has also enabled a 40mm1 reduction in overall height without compromising headroom due to clever packaging, including lower seating for the driver and passengers. A lower cowl height contributes to better vision for the driver.
All-new Yaris will deliver segment-leading safety performance as the first car in its segment to incorporate a centre airbag 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 to prevent collisions or mitigate damage. The latest system can prevent accidents when turning at intersections by detecting oncoming vehicles as well as pedestrians crossing the road2.
These Toyota-first safety features will be standard on Yaris for Australia, in addition to autonomous emergency braking, all-speed active cruise control, lane-centring and other advanced technologies.
Toyota Australia’s Vice President Sales and Marketing Sean Hanley said the all-new Yaris has been designed to be Australia’s safest compact car while meeting the increasing challenges of everyday urban life.
“Our new Yaris delivers the stylish, ready-to-move design and practicality demanded by people who typically live in congested urban environments,” Mr Hanley said.
“It offers responsive new drivetrains with the lowest possible running costs and class-leading safety while being agile and easy to park in the city as well as comfortable on longer journeys.”
All-new Yaris will be offered in Australia with two newly developed powertrains that utilise high-speed combustion technology to achieve low fuel consumption and high output.
The new 1.5-litre three-cylinder Dynamic Force petrol engine is 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 1.5-litre hybrid system is new to Toyota and achieves remarkably high levels of fuel efficiency with acceleration tuned for both performance and economy.
It is directly derived from the larger systems introduced locally in the new Corolla hatch, RAV4 and Camry models.
Detailed measures have resulted in low internal friction and mechanical losses, while offering up to 40 per cent thermal efficiency and super-fast combustion speed to support high torque at low engine speeds and fuel efficiency.
Front MacPherson strut and rear torsion-beam suspension systems have been designed to improve dynamic qualities further, reducing body roll in cornering and increasing agility.
The highly rigid platform fosters vehicle stability and ride comfort, together with lower noise and vibration levels.
The platform’s architecture and upper body have been optimised with strategic reinforcements in the cowl, rear pillar, tunnel, rear structure and rear wheelhouse, plus a stiffer dashboard panel.
On-road performance is reflected in the dynamic exterior design that results in a car that is 5mm shorter and 40mm lower1, bucking the compact segment trend for vehicles to grow larger with each new version.
Sharp new headlights feature LED technology while the rear view integrates the 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 with high-quality materials that deliver a warmer cabin ambience.
Information is presented clearly and directly to the driver from up to three interlinked sources: the central touch display screen, a multi-information display in the instrument cluster and an available 10-inch colour head-up display.
Chief engineer Yasunori Suezawa said the all-new Yaris debuts 20 years after the first Yaris.
“We wanted to build a new-generation compact car that goes far beyond customers’ preconceptions about class by building on the strengths of the Yaris as a compact car while revamping the platform, powertrain, and all other components,” he said.
“Compact cars are driven by many people, so offering a pleasurable drive was a priority, but it also prompted us to use the Yaris as the starting point of cars with the world’s highest level of fuel efficiency and secure safety technology.”