What do you get when you combine experimental hybrid racing technology with a reasonably priced runabout? You get the recently unveiled Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R concept.
Under the aggressive bodywork and sheet metal, you'll find a three-door Toyota Yaris subcompact. Under the hood, you'll find the automaker's 1.6-liter Global Race Engine (GRE), which shares motivational duties with a pair of electric motors. Additionally, the concept's suspension and chassis will receive upgrades to match the increased power and performance expectations.
Toyota states that the Hybrid-R features intelligent all-wheel drive, so my guess is that one of those electric motors sits on the front axle working in tandem with the gasoline engine in the manner that we've come to expect from Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system, while the second electric motor twists the rear axle when needed.
Electricity regenerated under braking is stored in a supercapacitor similar to that of the Toyota TS030 Hybrid race car. Capacitors allow large amounts of energy to be stored and discharged quickly (but are poor long-term energy storage solutions), making them well suited for racing where heavy braking and hard acceleration are the norm.
Toyota is, no doubt, saving details about the Hybrid-R concept's power, efficiency, and performance for the reveal at the 2013 Frankfurt auto show, where it will be showcasing current gasoline-electric hybrids and concepts, as well as upcoming fuel cell hybrid vehicle (FCHV) technology that the automaker is aiming to have on roads in production vehicles by 2015.
Stay tuned for more details as our coverage of the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show continues.