AutoblogGreen has reason to be happy, having found evidence that Toyota's recent purchase of a 5.9% stake in Isuzu will bear fruit in 2010 when the Japanese juggernaut marries its Synergy hybrid drive system with a diesel engine. Presumably such a hook up was made possible, or at least hastened, by the expertise in diesels that Isuzu brings to the table. Toyota knows its way around an oil burner too, but its Hino commercial truck division usually deals with diesels meant for trucks and buses.
Heck, even we have to admit that we're excited for such a combo, as diesel engines excel in efficiency when cruising at highway speeds, much more so than a gasoline engine, which to this point has always been the electric motor's dance partner in modern hybrids. JapanToday is reporting that a Toyota subcompact with this diesel hybrid drivetrain will be available as soon as 2010. Assuming we're not all driving EVs by then, such a car should easily grab the mpg crown in the U.S.
[Source: AutoblogGreen, JapanToday]