Toyota: Frankfurt Motor Show 2013

  • Land Cruiser range receives bold facelift for 2014
  • FCV-R fuel cell hybrid concept previews production car
  • Yaris Hybrid-R concept points at performance potential

On show: Land Cruiser facelift, FCV-R fuel cell concept Yaris Hybrid-R concept car

Yaris Hybrid-R concept (pictured above)

Toyota’s Yaris is unlikely to be the first car that springs to mind when you think ‘hot hatch’ but the Hybrid-R concept suggests the Japanese firm isn’t anti the idea of a performance version.

Sadly, the concept is unlikely to go into production but it features technologies and ideas which might one day make it to Toyota showrooms.

Featuring expertise developed from Toyota’s endurance racing programme, including at the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours, the Yaris Hybrid-R features a 1.6-litre turbo ‘Global Race Engine’. Mated to it is the electric hybrid driveline sending power to all four wheels. Energy is stored in a supercapacitor, just like on the TS030 racing car.

Outside the bodywork looks like it’s been a steroid diet with gaping front grilles dominating the familiar Yaris silhouette.

FCV-R fuel cell hybrid concept

Toyota’s Avensis-sized FCV-R concept previews technologies and a type of car Toyota hopes to have on sale by 2015.

Rather than an engine fuelled by petrol or diesel, the FCV-R uses a fuel cell powered by hydrogen which is mated to a next-generation electric-hybrid system. The result is a car which emits no harmful gasses or particulates at all.

Toyota claims it’s made huge advances in hydrogen fuel cell technology making the system production-viable, although how close an infrastructure of hydrogen refuelling stations is remains to be seen. As with petrol-electric hybrids, Toyota aims to be there from the start.

Land Cruiser facelift

With a bold new front end, the latest Land Cruiser is not something you’ll miss approaching in your rear view mirror. Unfortunately, everyone will miss it at Frankfurt as Toyota has decided to display only hybrid vehicles on its stand.

Enormous headlights and a menacing grille design dominate the chunky styling, with further detail revisions around the Toyota’s body, including new tail lights, alloy wheels and fresh colours.

Work has been carried out inside too to lift the quality of the interior plastics. Revised controls help complete the refresh, while the second and third row of seats have been revised to make access to them a simpler affair.

Power remains unaltered at 188bhp from the 3.0-litre diesel but it’s been lightly revised to give a small reduction in CO2 emissions, down from 214g/km to 209g/km.

Click to read our full review of the Toyota Land Cruiser.

Click here for all the Frankfurt Motor Show coverage.