Toyota Yaris Hybrid First Drive

Editor’s Note: EarthTechling is proud to repost this article courtesy of Green Car Reports. Author credit goes to Antony Ingram.

The Toyota Yaris Hybrid is as significant a car for Toyota in Europe as the 2012 Toyota Prius C is for the company in the U.S.

It’s the cheapest hybrid on the market, emits the lowest levels of CO2 of any non plug-in car–vital for European taxation reasons–and returns impressive gas mileage figures.

Toyota_Yaris_Hybrid

image via Toyota

GreenCarReports was invited to Amsterdam in the Netherlands, to drive the new hybrid–and we discovered some interesting reasons as to why Europe gets a Yaris-based hybrid, rather than the dedicated Prius C.

Same car, different body

Mechanically and electrically, the Yaris Hybrid is very similar indeed to the Prius C, meaning it uses the same 1.5-liter, four-cylinder Atkinson cycle gasoline engine, and the same electric motor and drivetrain.

Combined output is 98 horsepower. The engine can serve up 81 lb-ft of torque, and the electric motor contributes 124 lb-ft, though a combined figure isn’t given.

As a result, performance is likely to be very similar between Yaris and Prius C. Toyota quotes a 0-62 mph acceleration time of 11.8 seconds, with a top speed of 103 mph. Both cars have a drag coefficient of 0.28, and the Yaris is the lighter car, at 2,400 lbs to the Prius C’s 2,500 lbs.

Visually the Yaris Hybrid offers plenty of tweaks over the standard Yaris, with LED-adorned lights front and rear, a Prius-like front end treatment and of course, the “hybrid blue” badge front and rear. Inside, it’s all standard Yaris, with a few specification changes and some blue detailing to continue the corporate hybrid theme.