By on January 23, 2012

Toyota is launching a hybrid version of the Yaris, and will likely be the European substitute for the Prius c/Aqua that Bertel drove just last week.

Previewed in concept form last year, the Yaris Hybrid will be built in France and have the exact same drivetrain as the Prius c. Fuel economy should be about the same as well. Since the Yaris Hybrid is far too close to the Prius c (without any of the brand equity), look for it to remain unavailable to American consumers.

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7 Comments on “A Prius c By Any Other Name Is A Yaris Hybrid...”

  • avatar

    Is the Yaris about the same size as the Prius C? I ask because why did Toyota go to the trouble of designing the C if the same powertrain (and efficiency) can be had with the Yaris which was already designed. Couldn`t they have differentiate the front and still call it a Prius in the US since Prius has more brand equity?

    • 0 avatar

      It probably is the new yaris under the skin. Toyota commonly reskins cars for different markets. The new Camry, for example, is quite different in the US market versus the asian markets. The yaris doesn’t carry much equity in the US, though. I think it does a lot better in Europe being the big brother to the Aygo and the little brother to the Auris. The Auris also has a hybrid version.

    • 0 avatar

      Honda did the same thing. Insight in the US, platform sharing Fit Hybrid in Europe.

      I suspect engineering and marketing reasons.

      Engineering – Americans drive more highway miles, so there is more value to a unique body with less drag.

      Marketing – In Europe, with higher gas prices, it is easier to justify a hybrid over a non-hybrid gas car (diesel is another debate) based on fuel savings alone. In the US, while hybrids make financial sense for heavy commuters, conspicuous consumption is a part of some purchases.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, the author seems to be mistaken? Having never seen the car, it seems to be hybrid version of the latest (2nd gen) Toyota Ractis/Toyota Verso-S?

      The wheelbase (100.4 inch) is identical, and, even the length, 157.1 inch vs. 157.3 inch is very similar. Plus, they both seem to have “MPV” styling.

      (No doubt there is a ‘common platform’ element here with the Yaris, given that Audi/VW has the same platform in the A4 and A8, why not? But on a superficial, I’m not an engineer-just looking at pictures kind of level, I say that that the Aqua is a reskinned Ractis/Verso-S.)

  • avatar

    You are all correct that Prius c/Aqua and Yaris Hybrid share the same basic architecture and powertrain. The latest Yaris hatchbacks, however, sit on a 2510 mm/98.8″ wheelbase, whereas Prius c/Aqua are on the outgoing Yaris sedans’ longer 2550mm/100.4″ wheelbase.

    Rumors have gone back and forth on whether or not Europe would get the Prius c as something that would fall in between the Yaris and Auris hybrids and to capitalize on the eco-cachet the Prius enjoys even among some Europeans, but importing Prius c in Europe is seemingly a money-losing proposition because of yen/euro exchange rates. I’d guess they won’t bother and let Yaris Hybrid play that role instead.

  • avatar

    Only a person with a low iQ would forgo selling prius c here for an overpriced death box on wheels.

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