Toyota Yaris receives updates for 2015 -w/video

Okay. I'm stretching things a bit. While prepping for this post, I found that the new (to the US) Yaris has been available in Europe for a little while. So this post will have info from both the US and Euro releases and pics. Obviously, the Euro Yaris pics have European license plates and the info and pics regarding the Yaris hybrid might apply to the US Prius c. And that is just one of the interesting things you'll notice when you compare the US and Euro releases. The 2015 US Yaris is a low-price-point conveyance ($14,845 for a three-door "base" L model with five-speed manual) utilizing old tech to keep prices, well, low. Automatic transmissions are four-speeds and manual transmission have only five cogs. One engine is available here, the 1.5-liter, 16-valve, four-cylinder DOHC engine (106 hp. 103 lb.-ft. of torque), while other markets get three-cylinder engines and the previously mentioned hybrid. Why you might ask? It is probably due to the popularity of the Prius in the US (not so much in Europe) that sort of carries the US economy torch for Toyota.  Needless to say, the upgraded front clip is nice and is styled similarly to the new Corolla (as opposed to some of Toyota's recent, over-styled cars). They should sell quite a few of them. If you need an inexpensive car with a bit of style, look no further. Toyota, how about a true Fit competitor next time around? For more info, check out the US and Euro press releases, pics, and Euro video after the jump.

Source: Toyota - Press release after the "read more" jump.

 Press Release:
Redesigned 2015 Toyota Yaris Sub-Compact: Sharper Styling, More Comfort and Value Priced

Sharper Styling, More Comfort and Value Priced


A bold new look with a distinct European flavor. A new, quieter interior crafted from improved materials. And a new attitude. The redesigned 2015 Toyota Yaris checks all of the boxes for small-car shoppers. And then it adds and checks two more boxes for fun and value. In 3-door or 5-door liftback models, the 2015 Yaris makes every day driving less every day.

The 2015 Yaris, like the previous-generations, comes in 3-door and 5-door liftback configurations, but the style is all-new. The new Yaris combines an energetic shape with a more comfortable cabin. The 2015 Yaris receives an aggressive new look with a horizontal chrome grill treatment that appears to continue right in to the headlamp. A larger, bolder grille opening gives this fun-to-drive car just the right touch of “attitude” in its look.

Newness permeates the Yaris cabin. Sitting in premium seats, the Yaris driver faces a sporty new dashboard design and touches new, softer materials throughout.

Retuned suspension, a more rigid body structure, additional sound insulation and attention to aerodynamic details all help to give the 2015 Yaris a smooth, dynamic and quieter ride. With safety always at the forefront, the Yaris continues to come equipped with nine standard SRS airbags, including curtain shield airbags and front seat cushion airbags.

Altogether, that’s a lot of new packed into an easy-driving small car with big fuel economy numbers and the brand’s penchant for high QDR (Quality, Dependability and Reliability).

The Value of Fun

Fun, functionality and value come together in the 2015 Yaris. The smooth-revving 1.5-liter, 16-valve, four-cylinder DOHC engine equipped with variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) produces 106 hp at 6,000 rpm and 103 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,200 rpm. The broad torque curve makes those numbers seem even bigger when you’re driving the Yaris, which offers snappy response with either transmission.

A smooth-shifting five-speed manual transmission, made smoother by an improved hydraulic clutch, is standard. An available four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission features a compact, lightweight design and low friction for high fuel efficiency.

Toyota Value Through and Through

The Yaris comes in base L, premium LE and sporty SE models, each a single-spec trim that eliminates option packages. Standard features on the L grade include air conditioning, 60/40 split fold-down rear seat, new, quick ratio, sport-tuned Electric Power Steering with power-assisted rack-and-pinion, power windows with driver’s side auto down, three-spoke tilt steering wheel, power door locks, Daytime Running Lights, and 15-inch wheels with wheel covers.

The Yaris LE adds the convenience of cruise control, power mirrors, steering wheel audio controls silver/metallic interior accents and remote keyless entry with an engine immobilizer. The LE rides in style on 15-inch alloy wheels.

The SE package turns the Yaris into an urban-cool sporty ride, with projector headlamps and LED daytime running lights, integrated fog lamps, rear spoiler and special gloss black with machine-surfaced 16-inch alloy wheels. The SE adds a sport-tuned suspension, now with a solid stabilizer bar, and four-wheel disc brakes that are one-inch larger in the front.

Inside, the SE is equipped with a leather-trimmed tilt three-spoke steering wheel and shift knob, sport meter and tachometer. The SE has its own unique sport fabric and includes gloss black accents throughout.

All Yaris models get Entune Audio with a 6.1-inch touch screen, an AM/FM CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability, six speakers, HD Radio™ with iTunes® Tagging, auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod® connectivity and control, hands-free phone capability, voice recognition, and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology.

For the first time in a Yaris, a navigation system is available as a dealer-installed option.

The redesigned mono-spec Yaris adds up to an excellent value. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the 2015 Yaris will range from $14,845 for the three-door L with a manual transmission to $17,620 for the five-door SE with a four-speed automatic.

The MSRP for the 2015 Yaris does not include the delivery, processing, and handling (DPH) fee of $825 for vehicles scheduled for processing on, or after, July 27, 2014. The DPH fee for vehicles distributed by Southeast Toyota (SET) and Gulf States Toyota (GST) may vary.
Model# Grade Transmission Body Style 2014 MSRP 2015 MSRP MSRP change ($) MSRP Change (%)
1421 L 5MT 3DR $14,430 $14,845 $415 3%
1422 L 4AT 3DR $15,155 $15,570 $415 3%
1424 LE 4AT 3DR $16,015 $16,505 $490 3%
1463 SE 5MT 5DR $16,540 $16,820 $280 2%
1462 L 4AT 5DR $15,455 $15,945 $490 3%
1464 SE 4AT 5DR $17,340 $17,620 $280 2%
1466 LE 4AT 5DR $16,490 $16,880 $390 2%

Euro Press Release:

• A more dynamic and emotive design, and a major step forward for sensory quality
• A wider product offer to attract diverse customer types
• A thoroughly revised 3 cylinder 1.0, and a frugal Hybrid version
• A platform significantly modified to improve vehicle dynamics and comfort

Reflecting Toyota’s renewed focus on design, the new Yaris features more distinctive styling. It reinforces Yaris emotional appeal without sacrificing any of the rational strength of the original car Alessandro Massimino, Product Manager in Brussels explains: “Yaris was always extremely strong in its rational dimensions: great packaging, durability, cost of ownership… What we wanted to achieve was to connect the model not only with our customers’ brains, but also with their hearts.”
The Yaris front benefits from the development of Toyota’s “Keen Look and Under Priority” design concepts enhanced by the cross-shaped structure with the top and bottom parts separated. At the rear, the redesigned bumper incorporating a diffuser, the introduction of a new LED rear light cluster with light guide patterns and the sculpted licence plate garnish give the Yaris a stronger stance on the road.
The interior has undergone important modifications aimed at improving driving pleasure and onboard comfort. Efforts have focused particularly on the quality of the materials which, both in feel and appearance, have significantly changed compared to the previous model.
A new grade strategy offers broader customer appeal through a wider diversification of equipment and colour choices, particularly in the passenger compartment, where certain parts of the dashboard and of the door panels can be coloured to suit the personality of the two new proposed grades: Style and Lounge. The former places an emphasis on dynamism, whereas the latter focuses more on the comfort and quality of life on board.
The new Yaris will be offered with a choice of four powertrains. A thoroughly reworked 3-cylinder 1.0 petrol unit is the first member of a new family of 14 highly efficient engines to be launched by 2015. Its exceptional thermal efficiency of 37% (the percentage of the energy contained in the fuel which is converted into mechanical energy) means that it can now boast a combined-cycle fuel consumption of 4.1 l/100, and CO2 emissions reduced to 95 g/km.
The hybrid powertrain has also been revamped, with its CO2 emissions reduced still further to 75 g/km and corresponding combined-cycle consumption lowered to 3.3 l/100. 4-cylinder 1.33 petrol and 1.4 Diesel engines complete the range.
Lastly, in order to improve road-holding, driving pleasure, comfort and soundproofing in one swoop, the platform has been modified to a far greater extent than that usually associated with a simple face lift. 
Stiffened by the addition of 36 spot welds, the body shell also accommodates a new rear torsion beam and a new support beam for the dashboard. With the adoption of new suspension parts (springs, shock absorbers and bound stoppers), the introduction of a new control logic for the electric power steering and a systematic reduction in wind, rolling and mechanical noise, the 2014 Yaris is among the best in terms of driving pleasure within the B-segment.

The launch of the new 2014 Yaris represents an important event in the history of Toyota Motor Europe. In fact, for the first time, the Product Planning Department, the Research and Development Division based in Brussels and the European Design Centre at Sophia Antipolis near Nice have been working hand in hand to develop a product that goes way beyond Europe’s borders.
The work carried out in Belgium and France on the fundamental aspects of the 2014 Yaris - external design, interior design and platform - has been fully adopted for some versions of the Vitz produced in Japan. This exemplary exchange of know-how is, for Toyota Motor Europe, the first tangible application of the new thinking advocated by the Global Vision revealed in 2011 by Akio Toyoda.

With nearly 3 million cars sold in Western Europe each year (nearly 4 million including Russia), the B-segment has easily the largest customer base. It accounts for more than one in every five cars sold In Europe, representing a 20.4% share of the total market in 2013.
In the same year the Yaris alone accounted for 24% of Toyota’s total European sales. Representing a similar percentage of their total sales figures, the B-segment is equally important to all the major manufacturers. This has created intense competition, with the current 6 year model life span interspersed with face-lifts every 3 years.
In recent years, this increased competition within the B-segment has prompted marked changes to the product itself. From a small, rather rational family saloon, the B-segment car has developed to become far more refined. Today, if offers customers greater design flair, higher quality finishes, a wider choice of powertrains, and levels of technology and driveability inherited from luxury models.
Within this highly competitive environment, Yaris sales totalled 173,800 in 2013 (private sales representing 70%), taking 11th place in the European car market and 6th within the B-segment.
Between 2011 -the year that the 3rd generation Yaris was launched- and 2013, Yaris’ B-segment market share rose from 4.2 to 6.1%, thanks in particular to the launches of the hybrid version and the Trend special edition. Over the last two years, 2012 and 2013, the new-customer conquest rate has simultaneously risen from 43 to 57%.

Alessandro Massimino is Senior Manager in Toyota Motor Europe. With his team, he has been in charge of the planning of the 2014 Yaris.
“Our job, is to be the link with the market,” he explains. “We listen to customers and dealers, look at competitors and try to predict future market trends. Next, we add Toyota’s overall product strategy. The combination of those four elements allows us to put together a brief, that we deliver to design and to engineering. Throughout the development process, we monitor the progress of the project, and also keep an eye on possible shifts in the market, so that we can take corrective action if necessary.”
“Working on Yaris is challenging and rewarding at once. It is a very important car for our brand, and comes with a lot of heritage. The first generation, that was launched in 1999, was possibly the most innovative car in its segment back then. It offered excellent packaging and some really nice features such as the 3D central digital display. Since then, innovation has always been an important element in the Yaris identity. The 2nd generation added several segment firsts, such as the knee airbag and smart entry. And the 3rd generation innovated the segment again through the introduction of a Hybrid Powertrain. So with any action that we take, we need to ensure that Yaris can maintain its reputation of being an innovator and a smart choice.”
“Also from a business point of view, we have a lot riding on Yaris. Firstly, because of our factory in Valenciennes, that produces exclusively Yaris cars, both for sales in Europe but also for export – about 12% of their production gets shipped to other continents. So we have a big responsibility towards the workforce there, to ensure that we can fill the factory capacity. We are particularly happy that with the launch of this 2014 Yaris, we can add a third shift. But the business-importance of Yaris goes far beyond manufacturing: in Western Europe, about one in four Toyota’s sold is a Yaris. This makes it the single most important model for our retailers – the success of both their showrooms and their workshops depends largely on how well Yaris is received.”
When asked what his focus was for the 2014 Yaris, Massimino is clear: “For many people, the current Yaris was first and foremost a rational choice: they bought it because of the quality it offered, or because of its efficient packaging, or because of its fuel efficiency – and then, when they started using it, they came to love it. Our aim was to make it instantly loveable. Love at first sight, both inside and out. But also dynamically, we wanted to ensure that the the car would feel just right, from the first kilometres you drive it.”

• Design managed by the European Design Centre
• More assertive styling
• Sensory quality upgrade in a new interior
For Alessandro Massimino, Product Manager in Brussels, the aim was clear: “Current Yaris already meets essential requirements of B-segment buyers: its compactness relative to its roominess, its functional aspects and innovative equipment, particularly its multimedia system and rear camera. Our surveys and the very positive response to the hybrid version convinced us that we now had to move towards a more assertive style and increase the general dynamism of the car, both in terms of design and driving pleasure. Using this as our goal, we have been able to work closely with the Design Centre and the Research and Development Division to create the new Yaris”.
Exterior Design
Elvio D’Aprile, in charge of the 2014 Yaris design said: “The B-segment is perhaps the most competitive segment in Europe. We had to do something which really stands out from the crowd. So our objectives were to avoid the B-segment stereotypes, to harmonize the overall styling of all powertrain derivatives and to dare to be different from competition”.
Consequently, the highly distinctive exterior of the new, 2014 Yaris features an even stronger, more dynamic execution of Toyota’s bold, Under Priority frontal design language with Keen Look detailing.
The narrow upper- and large, trapezoidal lower grilles which hallmark Toyota’s Under Priority design now merge at the logo to form a powerful cross-shaped structure.
The logo is underscored by a chrome trim bar which runs through the length of the upper grille into new, Keen Look headlamp clusters, tying the frontal elements together with a powerful, horizontal emphasis of vehicle width.
The headlamp clusters themselves incorporate new projector lamp technology for both high and low beams, and, depending on grade, LED daytime Running Lights (DRL).
Underlined by a ‘floating’ spoiler which further strengthens the dominance of the Under Priority design language, the large, trapezoidal lower grille focuses attention on the bottom of the new Yaris, reinforcing the dynamic potential of its ground-hugging stance and low centre of gravity.
In profile, the new Yaris benefits from a new door belt moulding, optional, electrically-folding door mirrors and a choice of four new, 15” and 16” alloy wheels.
To the rear, a new bumper design gives the appearance of a broader, lower stance, whilst the integral diffuser strengthens the new Yaris’ road presence with a more sporty, self-confident image.
Flanking the sculpted license plate garnish, upgraded rear lamp clusters incorporate a new, LED light graphic which further enhances the vehicle’s personality with a unique lighting signature made possible by using light-guide technology.
Unlike the previous generation Yaris, all powertrain derivatives now share the same overall styling, with more subtle cues alone identifying different versions, including the Yaris Hybrid.
Elvio D’Aprile adds: “The fact that this project was entirely managed from Europe helped the final design enormously. On a daily basis, we could discuss with Engineering and Product Planning. Design elements that would normally have been rejected because they were incompatible with some pre-conception about technical specifications, suddenly became negotiable. As a result, we were able to really carry our vision from the first proposals through to the final car.”
Interior Design
Pierre Romeo, in charge of the interior styling of the 2014 Yaris, said: “The new interior design is the result of three key, customer feedback-informed objectives: firstly, to enhance the feeling of roominess and dynamism in the cabin; secondly, to improve the sensory quality of the environment; and, thirdly, to combine overall visual simplification with improved colour variation and more sophisticated finishes.”
Creating a more horizontal feel to the dashboard, the upper instrument panel is now thinner, and the upper surface of the driver’s instrument binnacle has been restyled for a slimmer look. In conjunction, the door panel has also been redesigned to combine a more fluid, dynamic appearance with a larger soft-touch area and greater functionality.
The centre console has been raised by 23mm to reduce the length of the gear shift lever by 30mm for improved gear changing ergonomics, and a closed storage area has been added. Now featuring the latest, Toyota Touch 2 multimedia systems, the console touch screen has been increased in size from 6.1” to 7”. This visually emphasises one of the Yaris’ unique features. The upper instrument panel finish has been changed from Technical to Animal grain for improved tactility and a less glossy appearance, and is complimented by a thicker ornamentation band.
Improving both its appearance and tactility, the Yaris-trademark, sculpted central dashboard panel features an increase in soft-padding thickness and a surface material change to PVC. The graining differs from grade to grade – Animal, Technical or Geometrical – contributing to the different characters that are now part of the line-up.
The area of soft touch finishes has been increased within the cabin. Throughout, normal chrome trim has been replaced by a satin chrome, giving a more modern, sophisticated appearance.
The new, 2014 Yaris further benefits from a range of all-new seat trims, with a new fabric pattern and colour for each grade. Grade differentiation is further strengthened by an increased number of interior colour schemes; Red, Tan and Black finishes now complement the existing Grey/Dark Grey interior.

Serkan Karaman is Senior Project Manager at Toyota’s R&D centre near Brussels in Belgium. In charge of the development of the 2014 Yaris, he speaks about the change that this model brought to the way of working for Toyota Europe.
“In the past, project management for this type of big changes was always done in Japan. Of course, Europe gave input, and we received specific tasks to be carried out here, but the schedule was set by Toyota Japan. In the case of the 2014 Yaris, this changed.” “For the first time ever, Europe was able to take the lead in the development of a global vehicle. We drafted a blueprint for the Yaris to be as competitive as possible in the B-segment, based on customer feedback and benchmarking the strongest of our competitors here. Afterwards, the result was adapted to fit other markets such as the US and Japan, but the fact that we commenced from the most demanding region for this type of vehicle, gave us an excellent starting position.”
In line with Toyota’s Global Vision, in which Europe was attributed responsibility for the global planning of A-, B- and C-segments, Serkan and his colleagues were given a lot of freedom to go about things the way we wanted to.
“We were truly in the driver’s seat,” says Karaman. “Kanamori-san, Toyota’s A- and B-segment Chief Engineer, was key in this process. He trusted us to select the right priorities, and more than once had to defend our choices with Top Management, especially since we really pushed the bounderies, making this change significantly bigger than a regular facelift. In particular the interior design changes and the platform upgrade go far beyond what is expected from a mid-life update. Hence, in some respects, this is almost a new generation.”
Karaman goes on to explain what the biggest changes were from this new way of working. “There are three key differences compared to what we were used to. First, since the project was run from Europe in terms of planning, design and engineering, there was a full and shared understanding amongst all parties what changes were required in order to meet the taste of European drivers, and in order to be able to face European competitors head-on. Secondly, our geographical proximity, meant that we could work very quickly – meeting by meeting, we were able to take important decisions with all stakeholders present, and move the project along. And finally, thanks to the previous point, we could take the occasional risk: since we knew that we could advance faster, we sometimes had the luxury of trying some more adventurous solutions, knowing that, if finally they didn’t work out, we still had time to implement an alternative solution.”
“The biggest game-changer was perhaps the fact that body-design was in Europe. This is the division that links between design and engineering – they take the stylist’s vision, and turn it into something that is actually producible. Often, this requires compromise. But in this project, since the body-designers were also based in our Brussels office, it was easy to discuss with them – they know the market as well as we do, and they have a good understanding of what is important to the European customer. Without this, there are several elements in the interior and exterior design of the car which would not have survived into production.”
So is this the 2014 Yaris to be the peak of Toyota Europe’s engineering independence? Not according to Karaman. “We started this project about three years ago, just after the launch of this Yaris generation. In the meantime, and partly thanks to this project, our expertise has further grown. My colleagues are working on several models, and are often doing this with an even higher degree of independence. I can’t be too concrete about future products, but in the coming years you will see the impact of Toyota’s European Engineering team further increasing.”

• Differentiation strategy to suit the widened range of B-segment customers
• Each grade with its own, unique character
• Grade specific interior colour schemes
Matching the B-segment’s widening customer base, the new 2014 Yaris offers broader appeal through a range of more clearly differentiated grades, each with their own unique character.
This differentiation will be reinforced through grade-specific interior colour schemes, and varying treatments to numerous exterior and interior elements, including the lower grille, alloy wheels, seats, centre console, instrument panel, and steering wheel inserts.
For instance, diverse treatments of the lower grille (unpainted, metallic back or piano black) and the grille surround inserts (chrome, satin chrome or piano black) will identify the different model grades. The Yaris Hybrid will feature a piano black grille with satin chrome surround, reflecting its high-tech credentials.
High equipment levels feature throughout the grade structure, with a leather steering wheel, air-conditioning and the Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system fitted as standard from Active grade.
A comprehensive option list includes projector headlamps with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), a range of 15” and 16” alloy wheels, a rear parking monitor, auto-folding door mirrors, cruise control, dual zone air-conditioning, rear electric windows, rain and light sensors, wireless door lock and start button, Alcantara® or leather seats and rear privacy glass.
A new grade strategy to broaden appeal and increase customer satisfaction
With the previous generation Yaris Hybrid markedly different from the conventionally-powered version, the 2014 Yaris range now offers closer styling unity. This does not, however, suggest uniformity: the hierarchical structure of the range still requires the Hybrid version to retain its place at the top, with subtle styling differences allowing it to stand out.
The range-topping Hybrid high grade is recognised firstly by its lighting signature. Its daytime running lights are made up of LEDs which create a luminous line marking out the top of the projector lamp across its entire width. At the back, the same LED technology has been used to create a light guide pattern that is a characteristic feature of the model. The same LED light technology will be available as an option across the model range.
Fitted with specially-designed 15- or 16-inch alloy wheels, the Hybrid high grade version also stands out due to its piano black radiator grille, satin chrome inserts and, of course, its central logo on a blue background, both front and back. These differentiating features are also found on entry and mid-range Yaris versions fitted with a hybrid powertrain.
The high-tech yet harmonious feel of the interior is achieved through a subtle blend of black and several shades of grey with special soft touch material unique to hybrid, blue instrument back-lighting and partial Alcantara® upholstery.

Style and Lounge: two very different characters
In addition to the conventional vertical range structure, the choice of trim finishes available in Europe has also been extended horizontally with the arrival of two additional grades, Style and Lounge, equipped with conventional petrol or diesel engines.
Decidedly dynamic, the Style grade stands out due to special 16-inch alloy wheels and the unique pattern of its radiator grille (small squares instead of bars) surrounded by a piano black insert. On board, a sporty harmonious feel is conveyed by a classic, dark interior finish. This can be further enhanced by adopting a Red pack, which includes the soft touch dashboard and door panel trim.
Focusing more on comfort and the quality of life onboard, the Lounge version has newly designed 15 or 16-inch alloy wheels and is distinguished by chrome inserts surrounding the black radiator grille and running over the top of the rear number plate. On board, a dark finish combines with partial leather seat upholstery to create a feeling of classic luxury. Here too, the soft touch areas of the dashboard and door panels can be replaced by a light brown trim that gives a warmer and softer appearance. 

Jose Manuel Mendez is Senior Manager in Toyota Europe’s Marketing Management team. His job is to bring the 2014 Yaris to market, coordinating activities with his colleagues in Toyota’s national networks across Europe. He explains about the opportunities that the car brings.
“The expanded grade strategy opens new possibilities for Yaris”, says Mendez. “Until now, we were mainly relying on our Hybrid powertrain to attract new customers from other brands. Hybrid will continue to be a strong weapon for us in that sense, but with the new design, and some of the additional grades with their strong characters, we are confident that the 2014 Yaris will attract the attention of many customers who may not have noticed us in the past.”
The grades that Mendez is referring to are the Style and the Lounge versions. The first one is aimed at a younger, often male customer, looking for an extravert execution that puts emphasis on dynamism. The second is directed at a mature audience, who’s first concerns are with comfort and equipment.
“The beauty is that both grades are fully supported by the evolution of the 2014 Yaris,” says Mendez. “Thanks to the platform changes and the improvements in NVH, the car has become at once a more rewarding drive and a more comfortable package. So customers attracted by the looks and specs of these grades, will not be disappointed when they take them on a test-drive.” 
With petrol, diesel and hybrid drivetrains on offer, an important part of the sales process will be to ensure that individual customers are supported in making the right engine choice.
“In today’s increasingly congested traffic, there is no doubt that Hybrid gives the most relaxed driving experience,” says Mendez. “The combination of an automated gearbox and the ability to drive in full electric mode at city-speeds, takes so much hassle out of stop-start driving. Today’s fuel prices , CO2 based taxation and solid residuals also often make Hybrid the most sensible choice in terms of cost-of-ownership. “
“But for people who drive low mileage, or who want to limit their original spend, petrols can still provide the most economical approach. Depending on the power that they want, we can either offer them our 1.0 or our 1.3.”
And for those who cover many miles, and mainly do so at elevated highway speeds, the 1.4 D-4D makes sense, both in terms of cost and in terms of performance. So we really do have the optimal choice for every customer – we just need to make sure that they understand the strengths of each of the powertrains when they come in to buy a car, so that we can be confident that they will pick the engine that will bring them most satisfaction.”

• Widest choice in the B-segment: two petrol, one diesel and one hybrid
• Extensively renewed 3 cylinder 1.0 engine with outstanding thermal efficiency
• Hybrid powertrain improved to further reduce fuel consumption
Efficiency and performance
The 2014 Yaris range offers 4 powertrains, two petrol, one diesel and one hybrid. The latter, which already accounts for a third of this model’s sales, was adapted to comply with the Euro 6 Standard and has benefited from adjustments that have now made its C02 emissions even lower, 75 g/km as opposed to 79. Extremely economical (3.3 l/100) and clean (virtually zero nitrous oxide and particulate emissions), this powertrain offers unique qualities within the B-segment. The hybrid Yaris stands out for its silent running, comfort and easy handling, particularly in urban areas where the hybrid system allows the car to run solely in electric mode or with a limited - and therefore silent - use of the combustion engine. The automatic transmission ensures a smooth drive without any jerkiness, giving a comfortable and reassuring driving experience, both for the driver and his passengers.
To recap, the Yaris Hybrid is powered by a 4-cylinder Atkinson-cycle 1497cc engine; 50mm shorter than the 1.8 litre Prius engine and also 17kg lighter. It includes a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system, an electric water pump, a low-friction distribution chain, an intake manifold made of a composite material and a compact exhaust manifold.
In the Atkinson cycle, compression and expansion are asymmetrical. The inlet valves close later than in a traditional Otto cycle, delaying the compression. This creates a higher expansion ratio for less compression, reducing pumping losses and converting combustion energy to engine power more effectively. In addition, the exhaust temperature is lower than that of conventional engines. The cooled EGR system reintroduces cooled exhaust gas into the combustion chamber, also limiting pumping losses and further reducing engine operating temperatures.
A comprehensively improved 3 cylinder engine
As for the 3-cylinder 1.0 petrol engine, it has undergone a major revamp with a view to improving its performance, reducing its emissions and its noise and vibration levels. In compliance with the Euro 6 Standard, it achieves a level of thermal efficiency - the part of the energy contained in the fuel, which is converted into mechanical energy - of over 37%, which is an excellent result among mass-produced petrol engines that on average have a thermal efficiency of between 30 and 35%. The CO2 emissions of the 1.0 version have thus been reduced from 110 to 99 g/km and just 95 g/km in conjunction with the Stop & Start system.
To achieve this, engineers have sought above all to optimise the power to weight ratio of the engine. For instance, the combination of the cylinder head and the exhaust manifold has reduced weight and improved compactness.
In order to reduce consumption yet still maintain performance, the compression ratio has been increased from 10.5 to 11.5. While a further development of Toyota’s variable valve technology allows the engine to switch between Atkinson and Otto cycles.
The engine now adopts the Atkinson cycle at low load for a better fuel efficiency in urban driving and cruising at low revs while being able to return to the Otto cycle at high load and high speed.
The intake ports and pistons have been redesigned to increase the tumble effect (vertical swirl in the combustion chamber) to promote combustion speed. Scavenging and combustion chamber cooling has been increased to delay knocking and a large volume of cooled exhaust gas recirculation is used to reduce pumping losses.
Lastly, friction levels have been reduced through the adoption of diamond like carbon (DLC) for the valve actuators, changes to the surface treatment of the pistons and the timing chain drive mechanism, and better engine cooling management, most notably due to the shape of the oil sump which ensures that the engine reaches optimum operational temperature more quickly.
Connected to a 5-speed manual gearbox, the 3-cylinder engine is not only very cheap to run but also allows the Yaris 1.0 to offer to the driver a very good torque feeling especially adapted to city driving.
1.33 petrol and 1.4 D-4D to deliver smoother performance
The 1.33 petrol and 1.4 diesel engines have benefited from secondary modifications aimed at reducing noise and vibration: firstly, by providing better insulation for the exhaust system and secondly by fitting a redesigned torque rod for the diesel version.
These two engines are connected to 6-speed manual gearboxes, achieving an ideal compromise between performance and fuel consumption. They both enable the Yaris to reach a top speed of 175 km/h with fuel consumption in the combined cycle of 4.8 l/100 for the 1.33 petrol version and 3.8 l/100 for the 1.4 D-4D.
The 1.33 petrol version is also available with a continuously variable Multidrive S transmission. More compact and lighter than a conventional automatic transmission, Multidrive combines an easy, comfortable and smooth driving style with optimum engine torque control for considerable fuel savings in city traffic. Multidrive S also offers a manual mode with 7 fixed gear ratios that can be selected through the steering wheel paddles or through the shift lever.

• Improved handling and comfort
• New torsion beam
• Modified shock absorbers and steering
The new, 2014 Yaris features comprehensive, customer feedback-driven improvements to its ride comfort and handling with a significant reduction in Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH). Serkan Karaman, Senior Project Manager at TME R&D said: “For the first time in the history of the Research and Development Division in Europe, we have taken the initiative and made important changes to the platform with regard to vehicle dynamics that go way beyond the boundaries of a facelift”.
Improved Ride Comfort and Handling
The new Yaris has been designed with a more rigid upper and lower body structure, offering a more direct and linear response to steering inputs, allowing a more comfortable ride whilst maintaining balanced body control.
Frontal rigidity has been increased through the adoption of a new windscreen bonding material and a thicker dashboard bulkhead structure. Both the instrument panel beam and its connections to the dashboard and central tunnel have been stiffened in order to improve steering response.
Central and rear body rigidity have been increased through the use of 36 additional welding spots, redesigned tunnel bracing to add rigidity to the vehicle floor, a redesigned wheelhouse area, and a reinforced rear bumper attachment to reduce body roll deformation.
The rear suspension has been redesigned to incorporate a new, stiffer torsion beam combined with softer coil springs and a new long polyurethane bound stopper. This improves ride comfort whilst maintaining good body roll control, and also enhances the front/rear grip balance of the vehicle, to reduce understeer tendencies.
The front suspension also features softer coil springs for greater ride comfort. Simultaneously, the introduction of rebound springs within the shock absorbers increases front anti-roll stiffness, improving handling and reducing body roll during cornering.
In addition, new front and rear shock absorber valve technology reduces the transmission of vibrations from the road surface and further improves the new Yaris’ ride quality without compromising its handling agility.
Finally, new control logic to the electric power steering system takes advantage of these bodyshell stiffness and suspension enhancements to offer customers significantly improved steering feel, responsiveness and accuracy for a more engaging driving experience.
Reduced Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH)
Complementing the reduction in unwanted vibration through increased body stiffness and suspension re-tuning, the new, 2014 Yaris also benefits from a marked reduction in interior noise levels.
Based on customer feedback, Toyota engineers identified three noise-reduction priorities. Firstly, the reduction of high frequency noise from the engine and the road surface. Secondly, the reduction of low frequency noise from the engine. And, thirdly, the reduction of wind noise during high speed driving.
To minimise the penetration of high frequency noise through the dashboard bulkhead and vehicle floor, the dashboard silencer has been completely re-engineered, the instrument panel and console box sound absorption material have been upgraded, and a noise-optimised carpet was introduced.
The dashboard silencer surface area has been maximised by reducing the size of all feed-through apertures, and its thickness increased and material composition optimised for better sound insulation. A similar principle has been applied to the instrument panel and console box cavities, which now incorporate double the quantity of sound-absorbing material.
These measures improve cabin sound performance both during acceleration and whilst driving at a constant speed.
Low frequency engine booming has been minimised by the adoption of a newly-designed engine torque rod (for 1.4 diesel models), and the redesign and relocation of the exhaust system hangers.
The intrusion of wind noise at high speed has been reduced by the adoption of a new, spoiler-shaped cowl louvre which reduces turbulence air at the base of the windscreen, a new door weather strip design which improves sealing, most notably around the door mirror area, and double the quantity of sound absorption material in the door cavity.
In combination, these measures will significantly reduce noise within the cabin, improving occupant comfort under all driving conditions. 

• Unique and affordable touch-screen multimedia system with uprated resolutionand expanded functionalities
• Toyota Touch® 2 with Go combines full map navigation with online services and apps
• Two new apps for the new Yaris: AUPEO! and COYOTE
• First mainstream brand to offer Google Street View and Panoramio services 
Toyota Touch® 2
Fitted as standard in the 2014 Yaris from Mid grade, Toyota Touch® 2 is an upgraded version of Toyota’s affordable touch-screen multimedia system.
Via a 7” full colour touch screen interface, it incorporates AM/FM radio with an optional DAB/DAB+/DMB-A receiver, Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity with a music streaming facility, and a USB port for the connection of portable music players, with the facility to display iPod album cover art.
A rear view camera is available, helping drivers to manoeuvre in confined spaces.
The enhanced Toyota Touch® 2 system features redesigned screens with a deeper, 3D effect. Image resolution has been increased by a factor of four from 400 x 240 to 800 x 480, giving a much brighter, sharper image.
The screen menu has been expanded to incorporate more vehicle information content, such as air-conditioning settings while the operation of the hybrid system has been redesigned in a completely new lay-out. In addition, the screen now supports ‘drag and flick’ control for easy, intuitive operation.
Toyota Touch® 2 is ‘MirrorLink’-ready, which enables users to connect compatible smartphones and then operate them entirely from the system’s touch screen.
The optional DAB radio has now been fully integrated, and incorporates an ‘FM Link’ facility which automatically switches to the corresponding FM station should the DAB signal fail.
Toyota Touch® 2 with Go
The Toyota Touch® 2 with Go offers customers an enhanced, full map navigation system which represents unique value for money. The system was developed specifically with European customers in mind.
Available in 20 languages, it includes all the most popular navigation functions, such as customisable speed limits, speed camera warnings, automatic zoom, motorway signposting and junction view at motorway intersections. The map zoom function is now more easily controlled by a simple rotary button.
Advanced traffic coverage, now located on the map itself, takes the form of a ‘traffic bar’ showing the driver any congestion ahead, and what delay to expect.
Via the Toyota Online function, the system offers on-board connectivity to an expanded range of services including Toyota Real Time Traffic powered by TomTom, Google Street View, Panoramio and Google Local Search –the largest and most up-to-date search database in the world.
Toyota’s improved customer portal also allows users to be in contact with their vehicles online. For instance, via Google Maps, destinations may be input remotely from home or office, and Points of Interest (POI) may be downloaded for entry as destinations.
Further system access to Toyota Online content includes a Touch 2 with Go Apps function which offers several applications, including fuel prices, weather and parking space information. And, two new Apps appear especially on the new 2014 Yaris, firstly AUPEO!, a personal internet radio and secondly COYOTE, a traffic sharing information.
The installation of Touch 2 with Go also upgrades the multimedia base unit to incorporate a contact person image display. Toyota Touch® 2 with Go has been designed specifically to be both affordable and flexible. The system can be easily upgraded with the newest functions, updated maps and the latest Apps, as they become available.

• European Hybrid market is steadily growing
• Uniquely smooth, quiet and entirely intuitive driving experience
• 6 out of 10 Toyota hybrid customers represent a conquest sale
Europe is the world’s fastest growing hybrid market. Sales increased by 34% in 2013, with the region accounting for 12% of total global hybrid sales.
Over the same period, European sales of Toyota hybrids have risen by some 43%, and 1 in 5 of all Toyota passenger vehicles sold is now a hybrid.
With the universal recognition of hybrid technology as a mainstream powertrain resulting in increasingly strong residual values, the Yaris Hybrid is now afforded equal consideration to petrol and diesel alternatives by potential B-segment customers.
Prior to its launch two years ago, it was inconceivable that a B-segment model with a hybrid powertrain could achieve sales of almost 50,000 units per annum. But the Yaris Hybrid sold 49,774 units in 2013 –and the Valenciennes French factory has recently produced its 100,000th Yaris Hybrid.
This year, to date, the Yaris Hybrid has accounted for 31% of total Yaris sales in Western Europe. It is the best-selling alternative powertrain in the B-segment, and the second-best-selling car in the entire European alternative powertrain market (EV, Hybrid, PHV and FCV) just behind the Toyota Auris Hybrid.
Despite the fact that over two thirds of Europeans live in cities (a figure due to increase a further 10% by 2050), 74% of them still travel by car, with the resultant congestion and pollution constituting an ever growing issue.
The Yaris Hybrid’s combination of compact, agility-enhancing dimensions and the most efficient powertrain in the B-segment represents the ideal antidote to the stress and frustration of urban driving.
Toyota’s hybrid powertrain offers customers a uniquely smooth, quiet and entirely intuitive driving experience. It delivers strong, seamless acceleration from a standstill and, under electric motor power alone, near-silent running with zero CO2, NOx and particulate emissions.
Through these attributes, all Toyota hybrids not only generate significantly stronger brand loyalty than petrol or diesel powertrains, but also consistently instil greater loyalty to hybrid powertrains themselves than any other manufacturer.
Moreover, the company’s hybrid technology plays a dominant part in attracting new customers to the brand, with 6 out of 10 Toyota hybrid customers representing a conquest sale.
With rival hybrids only now entering diverse market segments, Toyota’s early investment in this technology has enabled it to sustain a clear lead in alternative powertrain technology. And it anticipates that, by 2020, 15% of all passenger vehicles will be equipped with a hybrid powertrain.

• Toyota Europe to take leading role in the planning of compact cars
• Largest scale regionalised development by TME with global implementation
From the new thinking about Toyota’s Global Vision, led by its President Akio Toyoda in 2011, came the certainty that, in order meet the needs and desires of consumers worldwide, more responsibilities and freedom had to be given to the 17 Research and Development Centres around the globe.
This change in attitude to the Group’s worldwide strategy led to the creation of specialist hubs in each region of the world. The directors of the Toyota Group have paid particular attention to Europe because this is the region where the car culture is most firmly established and where car manufacturers have world-renowned expertise.
Toyota Europe’s role within global Toyota
Since Europe is the cradle of the compact car, Toyota Motor Europe has been given a leading role in defining future A- and B- and C-segment cars
Toyota Motor Europe has also become Toyota’s skill centre in the 3 areas that identify the specific nature of the European market: the importance of the diesel engine, the customer expectations for perceived quality and their demands for vehicle dynamics.
This specialisation is achieved through the increased collaboration with European suppliers, the work carried out with leading European universities on advanced research and through the local alliances, such as the agreement signed with BMW for diesel engines.
In the end, the fruits of this better understanding of the European market will be shared worldwide and will help to develop the Toyota product on a global scale.
All of these new responsibilities fall specifically to the Product Planning Department, the Research and Development Centre at Zaventem (near Brussels) and the European Design Development Centre (EDD) based in the south of France, all three of which already have to their credit the restyled versions of the Avensis in 2012, the Verso in 2013, the Verso 1.6 D-4D at the beginning of 2014 and now the new Yaris.
Yaris 2014, the product of regionalisation
The flagship product of Toyota’s European range, the Yaris has benefited for its restyling from a particularly large investment (85 million euros). 576,000 hours of R&D have been dedicated to it, more than 1,000 new parts have been designed and Toyota Motor Europe contributed 75% towards its creation, a figure to be compared to the 25% European contribution invested at the model’s launch in 2011.
Building on the features that have made the model a success since its launch, particularly the unique character of what it has to offer – the hybrid powertrain which makes up for almost 1 in 3 sales, the multimedia equipment or the rear camera - the Product Planning Department team has worked to strengthen the qualities and character of the 2014 Yaris.
An analysis of the press coverage and surveys conducted among buyers - and non-buyers - have provided in-depth insight into what the restyling initiative should bring. Comments unanimously converged on the need to add an emotive and dynamic dimension to a model of which the functional features were already much appreciated.
As the research reconfirmed that the key purchase reason in the European B-segment is appearance, both design and sensory quality need to be just right.
As these results were corroborated by an analysis of market trends, the Product Planning Department team were able to produce a clear brief to EDD designers and R&D engineers. Afterwards, these three entities continued to work in close collaboration, refining their approach at each step of the project.
From the design point of view, the instructions from the Product Planning Department clearly highlighted the need to affirm the character of the Yaris, an initiative that had already been embarked upon with the launch of the Hybrid version in 2012.
For their part, the engineers at the Research and Development Centre at Zaventem produced specifications for necessary technical modifications, after having conducted in-depth investigations on the Yaris 2011 into comfort, performance and sound insulation.
In order to meet these targets, they had to develop a new torsion beam and modify parts of the platform itself in order to achieve the required levels of performance for noise and vibration. Such extensive development was a first for the European R&D Centre, which from then on decided to add an early prototype stage in order to validate the modifications at an earlier timing, while the normal prototype stages allowed final adjustments to be refined and more detailed studies to be conducted on the impact of these modifications on the car’s general performance.
Geographical closeness meant, for all of the project stakeholders, product managers, designers and engineers, as well as the representatives of suppliers of parts, that frequent meetings could be held. This much facilitated final adjustments and it sped up the decision making process.
“What makes this project different from other projects that we have done, “ says Serkan Karaman, Senior Project Manager at the Zaventem’s R&D Centre, “is that the scale of the development content compared to a face lift was much larger and we were able to take the lead in Europe for a global vehicle of which the content was adopted for other regions such as Japan and USA. In the past, the project management was mostly done in Japan. They decided the schedule and they assigned specific tasks to the team in Europe. But this time, we were in the driver seat. We had the freedom to decide what to do, when to do it and how to go about it. As a result, the new Yaris really incorporates European know how and European taste. And as far as our operations are concerned, it has added invaluable experience to the team.”