Toyota is dead serious about spreading its hybrid message across the world, even in Europe where diesels reign supreme. Their tool is this, a hybrid version of its latest Yaris. Brought to Geneva as the Yaris HSD concept, this will be the first full hybrid in the B-segment, the largest segment in Europe. Some of you may recall the Honda Jazz Hybrid from Paris 2010, but that’s a mild hybrid, as are Honda’s other IMA powered models.

Introducing Hybrid Synergy Drive to a supermini has presented Toyota with some unique engineering challenges, the company says. All hybrid components and batteries have to fit within the Yaris’ compact body without compromising its quality and performance, or detracting from cabin and cargo space.

Toyota doesn’t offer much info or specs, so we don’t know if it’s the same HSD unit as in Prius and Auris HSD. If it is, expect a 1.8-litre 98 hp petrol engine combined with an 80 hp electric motor. The Yaris HSD’s roof is fully covered with solar panels to provide independent powering of the car’s air con, thus reducing fuel consumption.

Body wise, vertical ‘aero’ slats at the edge of the bumpers minimise air turbulence. Airflow is also managed by a large, integral rear spoiler, underbody covers and 18-inch aero wheels with enlarged gaps to promote cooling. The showcar also has aero-efficient shaped door handles and rear side view cameras. The latter is a current concept car trend and isn’t likely to make production.

Speaking of that, the production model will be launched throughout Europe in the second half of 2012. Cars will roll out of Toyota’s Valenciennes plant in France.

Personally, I think this looks much better than the planned sporty variant of the Yaris we showed you yesterday. What do you think? Gallery after the jump.

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