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400-horsepower Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R concept makes subcompacts cool…maybe

It’s clear that the Toyota Yaris isn’t very cool. Subcompact econo-boxes rarely are. In spite of this fact, however, Toyota has made a very uproarious version of the unhip Yaris. It’s called the Yaris Hybrid-R concept and it has two doors, sporty lines, a hyperactive 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, two electric motors, all-wheel drive and a total of 400 horsepower.

Yes, this should be a very interesting Yaris indeed.

Surprisingly, the 300-horsepower, 306ft-pound 1.6l four-banger isn’t a Toyota creation but rather a product of the German racecar builder TMG, the company formerly responsible for Toyota’s Formula One cars and current builder of the TS030 Hybrid.

The 1.6l plant is a new Global Race Engine for TMG, which powers cars in WRC, WTCC and several national championships, according to Motor Authority. The engine is about to undergo testing in the Yaris and Toyota hopes to power rally versions of the Yaris and perhaps send a detuned version into road-going Yarii (my approximation of the plural of Yaris).

Aside from its torquey little four-cylinder, the Yaris Hybrid-R also packs a super capacitor system that stores energy collected by way of regenerative braking for rapid re-feed into the powertrain, which briefly tacks on 100 electric horsepower to the mix, making for some seriously quick acceleration.

Don’t get too excited subcompact fans; we’re not likely to see a production version of the Hybrid-R-powered Yaris. Instead, however, we may very well might see a version of this powertrain in an all-new FR-S-based Supra.

The Yaris Hybird-R will be officially unveiled on September 10th at the Frankfurt auto show. Make sure to check back for more detailed info and official pics then.