- Largest scale regionalized development by Toyota Motor Europe, with global implementation
- Manufactured at Toyota Motor Manufacturing France
- A substantial product change with a more dynamic and emotive design
- A platform significantly modified to improve vehicle dynamics
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.
The new Yaris features more distinctive stylistic aspects. They strengthen Yaris’ emotional appeal without sacrificing any of the rational strength of the original car, such as package and durability. 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 fascia 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 and the sculpted licence plate garnish give the Yaris a stronger stance on the road.
The interior has undergone some 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.
Lastly, the new Yaris has benefited from major work aimed at significantly improving suspension comfort and sound insulation, as well as efficient handling and driving pleasure.
In Canada, the Yaris continues to offer the proven 1.5 litre gasoline powertrain as standard equipment across all grades.
More than 84% of the Yaris models produced at Toyota Motor Manufacturing France in Valenciennes in northern France is for export. Not only to 42 countries in Europe, but also to the Unites States, Canada and Puerto Rico. In 2014, 26,000 Yaris models will be set to cross the Atlantic, accounting for 12% of the production.
FROM A GLOBAL VISION TO REGIONALISATION
- 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 areas, such as: 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. 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.
2015 Yaris: the product of regionalisation
The flagship product of Toyota’s European range, the Yaris has benefited for its restyling from a particularly large investment (over $115 million USD). 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 Product Planning Department team has worked to strengthen the qualities and character of the 2015 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 (or NA subcompact 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.
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 2011 Yaris 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.”
YARIS: MADE IN FRANCE BY EUROPEAN ENGINEERS FOR EUROPEAN CUSTOMERS
- 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. Our surveys and the very positive response … 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".
Elvio D’Aprile, in charge of the 2015 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 overall style of all powertrain derivatives and to dare to be different from competition”.
Consequently, the highly distinctive exterior of the new, 2015 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 Prioritydesign 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.
For the Canadian SE model, the headlamp clusters themselves incorporate new projector lamp technology for both high and low beams, and LED daytime Running Lights (DRL).
Underlined by a 'floating' spoiler which further strengthens its dominance of the Under Prioritydesign 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 continues to offer available 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 sporting, self-confident image.
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.”
Pierre Romeo, in charge of the new interior design of the 2015 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.
For the 2015 model year all Yaris models in Canada feature a 6.1” Display Audio multimedia system as standard equipment.
The upper instrument panel integrates more soft touch materials 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 area of soft touch finishes has been increased within the cabin. Throughout, normal chrome trim has been replaced by satin chrome, giving a more modern, sophisticated appearance. The new, 2015 Yaris further benefits from new fabric patterns.
- Improved handling and comfort
- New torsion beam
- Shock absorbers and steering modified
The new, 2015 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 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 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, 2015 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 has 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.
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.
POWERTRAIN AND FUEL EFFICIENCY:
The 2015 Yaris features the proven 1.5 litre 4-cylinder gasoline engine with DOHC and Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i). The engine is mated a standard 5-speed manual transmission or available 4-speed automatic super electronically controlled transmission with overdrive that deliver up to 106 hp at 6000 rpm and 103 lb.ft. of torque at 4200 rpm.
The 2015 Yaris continues to offer optimal fuel efficiency, and fuel efficiency numbers will be available closer to launch timing.
- Each CE, LE, SE grade features its own unique character
- Available in 3 door or 5 door
- 3 new exterior colour choices
The new, 2015 Yaris continues to offer the CE grade as a 3-door model and LE and SE grades as a 5 door model. Each grade matches the strong customer base in Canada who are attracted to the subcompact segment.
In addition to the more emotional exterior and interior design and engineering changes to the drive experience, several new standard and optional features are adopted for the 2015 Yaris:
- Diverse treatments of the lower grille (unpainted, metallic back or piano black) and the grille surround inserts (chrome, satin chrome or piano black), alloy wheels, seats, centre console, instrument panel, and steering wheel inserts will identify the different model grades
- The 6.1” Display Audio multimedia system is now fitted as standard across all grades
- CE and LE grades all feature power windows, meaning all grades now feature standard power windows and standard power door locks
- The SE grade adopts projector style headlamps with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), new painted grille, and piano black door mouldings.
The 2015 Yaris is available in the following grades in Canada:
- The Yaris 3-Door CE is now even more well-equipped with many standard features, including: power windows (new), 6.1” Display Audio (new), power door locks, a four-speaker audio system with USB audio input and Bluetooth capability; front bucket seats with passenger-side walk-in assist; contemporary instrumentation including a multi-information display; tinted window glass; tilt steering; digital clock; all-season floor mats; plenty of in-cabin storage for everything from maps to travel mugs; an engine immobilizer; 15” steel wheels; front and rear splash guards; and more.
- The Yaris 5-Door LE adds 6.1” Display Audio and power windows for the 2015 model year in addition to power door locks, the flexibility of rear-seat doors plus many upgrades as standard, including: An enhanced instrument cluster with tachometer; power adjustable and heated colour-keyed exterior mirrors; child-protector rear door locks; and more.
- Add the Convenience Package and enjoy four popular upgrades: Air conditioning; cruise control; and back door garnish with wireless key.
- The Yaris 5-Door SE delivers spirited performance and style to match, with a long list of standard features, including: “new for 2015” projector style headlamps with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), new painted grille, and piano black door mouldings. The SE continues to feature front row sport seats; air conditioning; power windows; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; a six-speaker audio system with USB audio input, Bluetooth and steering wheel-mounted audio controls; cruise control; keyless entry; unique 16” aluminum alloy wheels; power adjustable and heated colour-keyed exterior mirrors; a colour-keyed full-skirt package; rear spoiler; fog lamps; and more.
Optional features include projector headlamps with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), cruise control and keyless entry.
As with every Toyota since 2011, the Yaris Hatch is standard equipped with the six active technologies of the Toyota Star Safety System, plus nine airbags, high-strength passenger cabin, and other passive safety systems.
Pricing information will be available closer to launch in summer 2014.
Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) is the exclusive Canadian distributor of Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles. Incorporated in 1964, Toyota has sold more than 4 million vehicles in Canada through a national network of 285 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships. Toyota is dedicated to bringing safety, quality, dependability and reliability in the vehicles Canadians drive and the service they receive. TCI’s head office is located in Toronto, with regional offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Halifax and parts distribution centres in Toronto and Vancouver. Toyota operates two manufacturing facilities in Canada which build popular Canadian vehicles Toyota RAV4, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Matrix, Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h hybrid. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Cambridge (TMMC) also manufactures the Toyota RAV4 EV for the North American market. TMMC is the only manufacturer in Canada to assemble both hybrid and electric vehicles.