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First look: Toyota gets Yaris (really) going

Showcar: Urban Cruiser is a futuristic mini SUV design exercise by ED2.

Toyota unveils a 1.8-litre Yaris concept ahead of its world debut at the Geneva show

6 Feb 2006

TOYOTA has stuffed a 1.8-litre Corolla engine into its all-new Yaris light car just weeks after its Australian and European launches.

Dubbed the Yaris T Sport high-performance concept, the hottest Yaris yet produced was revealed late last week ahead of its world debut at the Geneva motor show on February 28.

Offering 100kW instead of the garden variety Yaris 1.3’s 63kW – or the Yaris 1.5’s 80kW – the T Sport is likely to be named Yaris Sportivo in Australia, where it’s currently under consideration for release.

The T Sport concept also features a new grille, bumpers and alloy wheels plus revised suspension, but is unlikely to surface Down Under inside 12 months.

Toyota will also use this month’s Geneva show to give the 2006 Prius its first European airing. Along with improved driving dynamics and interior updates, Europe’s upgraded Prius features the Intelligent Park Assist (IPA) system, which allows its driver to select a target parking spot and control the vehicle’s speed while the car steers itself.

Two other concepts to debut from Toyota at Geneva are the Urban Cruiser and the Fine-T.

While the former is a futuristic mini SUV design exercise by ED2, Toyota’s European design studio, the latter is a next-generation fuel cell vehicle with the cabin size of an Avensis and an exterior the size of a Yaris.

While Urban Cruiser is yet another possibility for an eventual sub-RAV4 SUV model, Fine-T features an independent four-wheel large-angle steering system, which delivers an extremely tight turning circle.

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