Hot Yaris available within the year
- Performance version of new Yaris by 2007
- Yaris to rival hot Clio and Corsa VXR
- No high-powered diesel expected
Toyota hopes to have a performance version of the new Yaris on sale within a year of mainstream models, which go on sale in January.
It will have a substantially bigger and more powerful engine than the 105bhp 1.5-litre unit in the outgoing model, in order to keep pace with the competition.
It took two years for Toyota to introduce T Sport version of the last Yaris, and the company admits it cannot afford to wait so long to add some gloss to the new range.
Toyota knows it needs to up its game in the performance stakes, because Renault is set to introduce a new Clio Renaultsport with substantially more power than the old model's 182bhp, and Vauxhall is planning a 180bhp VXR version of the next Corsa.
There is unlikely to be a high-performance diesel Yaris, however. The company's 2.2-litre diesel does not fit into the Yaris, and developing a new engine which does would be uneconomical, because of the relatively small numbers of sales expected.
Performance figures and prices of the performance Yaris have yet to be released.
Toyota also confirmed that it won't be following Renault, Vauxhall, Fiat and several other manufacturers in developing a semi-MPV Yaris to take the place of the old Yaris Verso.
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