Toyota recently unveiled its redesigned 2012 Yaris, but rather than pull the wraps off at an auto show or a call a press conference, the automaker debuted its updated subcompact at this year's Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago. Concertgoers were treated to a pre-production version of the hatchback, set to go on sale in the US later this year or early in 2012.
While pre-production models rarely make rounds outside auto shows and corporate events, Toyota likely thought Lollapalooza's demographic aligned perfectly with the Yaris's target market, and seized the opportunity to give younger buyers a look at the car. Headliners at the three-day festival included rock and R&B artists like Coldplay, Cee Lo Green, Eminem, Muse, the Foo Fighters, OK Go and Bright Eyes.
Toyota showed off a 2012 Yaris LE hatchback at the festival. According to information provided at the show, the revised model includes a 1.5-liter four-cylinder, likely the same powerplant found in the current model. Toyota says the revised Yaris is capable of 30 miles per gallon in the city and 35 mpg highway with its optional automatic transmission, or 30 mpg city and 38 mpg on the highway with the standard stick shift. That's up from the current automatic's 29 mpg city and 35 mpg highway, and the manual's 29 mpg city/36 mpg highway.
The Yaris displayed at Lollapalooza also featured a CD player with USB input and iPod capability, Bluetooth wireless cell phone connectivity with audio streaming and 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps. In addition to the mid-level LE trim on display, the 2012 Yaris also features base-level L and sporty, top-of-the line SE trims.
While Toyota hasn't announced further specifics for its 2012 Yaris, we expect to learn more at Los Angeles Auto Show in November. There, Toyota will likely show several versions of the updated model including a four-door sedan, which accounts for a large portion of the current Yaris's sales. There's no word on pricing or whether the redesign includes today's three-door hatchback model.