The 2012 Toyota Yaris has debuted in Japan as the Toyota Vitz. It’s bigger and bolder and arrives in the UK late 2011.
The headline is probably a bit disingenuous. The car in the picture – as you’ve probably already worked out – is the new Toyota Vitz, the JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) version of the Toyota Yaris. And it’s just been shown in Japan.
But to all intents and purposes this is the 2012 Toyota Yaris, although it should be on sale in the UK before the end of 2011, shortly after it hits European markets.
Toyota are trying to broaden the appeal of the little Yaris and have made it a bit more butch, with bulging headlights and bumpers that owe more than a passing nod to the Prius. It’s also grown – quite a bit – and the wheelbase is now 5″ longer than the current car with an extra 3.5″ of legroom in the back – much needed.
Engines will be a 68bhp 1.0 litre and a 93bhp 1.3 litre petrol at launch, but it looks like that will grow soon after launch with the arrival of a diesel and a hybrid Yaris – just as we reported last year.
The Vitz comes equipped with a CVT ‘box, but we expect the Yaris to come with a regular five-speed manual when it arrives in the UK (thankfully). You can also expect the 1.3 litre to get Stop/Start to give it an extra eco-glow. The Japanese also get a 107bhp RS version, although there are no plans to bring that to the UK.
Which is a shame.