The three-door Yaris has never been what you'd call a flagship car, but Toyota's racing engineers are outdoing themselves to change that perception. The just-unveiled Yaris Hybrid-R is packed full of racing tech, including a legit "boost" button straight out of the movies.
Starting with a tricked out Yaris shell, complete with slick lighting elements, Toyota's engineers next turned their eyes to the heart of the beast. The powerhouse they decided to cram under the Yaris' hood is a 300 horsepower turbocharged 1.6 liter GRE racing engine. Alone, a 300 HP engine would certainly do for a hatchback, but Toyota's engineers didn't stop there.
Their next move was to cannibalize the drive train from Toyota's TS030 Le Mans race car. That bolsters the already-beefy engine by adding three electric motors and a supercapacitor to the mix, which is how this little pod of a car gets all the way up to 420 HP.
The extra power doesn't show up all the time, however. Instead, Toyota has implemented a boost button that allows for short bursts of power. You can choose from either a ten second boost of 40 HP, or five seconds of access to the full 120 HP. While there aren't plans to release the Yaris Hybrid-R as-is, there remains hope for the model to inspire a new breed of aggressive, powerful hybrids. Rest assured, if hybrids start showing up with boost buttons, we'll be at the front of the line for a test drive.