What to Read Next

Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R concept with 414 hp makes case for sexy hybrids

jhyde1
Motoramic
4 September 2013

There are few new cars for sale on these shores that offer less excitement than the Toyota Yaris, a subcompact designed for fuel efficiency and low costs in a land of full-size pickups and seven-seat SUV. Toyota's hybrid cars, while popular, also aren't known for their speed aspirations, no matter how many times a Prius driver claims to have beaten a muscle car at a stoplight.

Which is what makes the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R concept — an all-wheel-drive, 414-hp hybrid monster — so noteworthy.

Designed in Europe for release at this week's Frankfurt motor show, the Yaris Hybrid-R follows in the continental tradition of tiny hatchbacks with huge power numbers. Starting with a three-door Yaris, Toyota's engineers swapped into the engine bay a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder. On the back end, they hooked each rear wheel to it's own 60-hp electric motor, and put a third electric motor between the six-speed gearbox and the engine — allowing it to act as an advanced kind of traction control that shifts power rearward when the front tires can't take any more. At peak, the system churns out 414 hp.

In place of a traditional hybrid battery, the Yaris Hybrid-R uses a supercapacitor — which can't store as much energy as a regular battery, but can unleash its power far faster. According to Toyota, in regular mode the supercapacitor only provides about half the maximum power to the two rear motors, but on track can provide a five-second burst of full energy.

It's unlikely that Toyota will build even a few copies of a Yaris Hybrid-R (although given what Nissan's done with the Juke-R, there's always hope.) What the Yaris Hybrid-R demonstrates even as a concept is that tiny cars have to be neither slow nor ugly nor unappealing — a lesson that will come in handy for all the parts of the world where bigger vehicles may not be so welcome soon.

How To Pay Off Your Mortgage

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Visit South America--And Bring Your Own Board!

Surfing on the Pacific coast. Snowboarding down the majestic Andes. Sandboarding the dunes of the Atacama Desert. Pick your pleasure. Learn more!

LS360 Millitary Tactical Flashlight

Get 75% Off World's Coolest and Brightest Flashlight. Check it Out Today!

Navy Seal Flashlight Selling Out Fast

The Military has released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - limited supply!

Finally, a snoring fix that beats CPAP

Snoring causes headaches, high blood pressure and fatigue. Each leads to something more serious. Here's a simple SOLUTION to a very serious problem.

Navy Seal Flashlight Should Be Banned From Public?

Controversial classified military technology has just been released to the public. Get this flashlight before it's banned or runs out -limited supply!

Top 50 Best Cities In The US

Top cities of The US by economy, education, entertainment, and overall awesomeness. Check it out!

Snoring is worse for your health than you think.

Snoring causes headaches, high blood pressure and fatigue. Each leads to something more serious. Here's a simple SOLUTION to a very serious problem.

Dramatically Improve Your Short Game

Easily Escape From Treacherous Bunkers, Nasty Rough And Even From Tight Lies.

X800 Millitary Tactical Flashlight

Get 75% Off World's Coolest and Brightest Flashlight. Check it Out Today!

Get a Vanity Toll Free Number for Your Business

200,000+ Served. Pick Your Number Today and Try It Absolutely Free!

30 Awkward Child Stars Turned Insanely Hot

The middle school years are pretty rough on everyone! Who knew these kids would grow up to look that good?

G700 Millitary Tactical Flashlight

Get 75% Off World's Coolest and Brightest Flashlight. Check it Out Today!

Golfers: Hit Straight Every Time

12-Time PGA Winner Shows You How to Hit Longer, Straighter, More Accurately,…