Toyota's turning up the heat on its already-boiling environmental image by putting more effort into sustainable programs. At a reception held for the media tonight after the first press day of the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe declared the automaker's continuing green push. Among the most imminent of the many initiatives mentioned, a new clean diesel V8 will be coming soon for the Tundra and Sequoia. Many have been clamoring for such a power source for those vehicles, though Toyota did not commit to an on-sale date. Toyota's also putting more effort into plug-in hybrids and will be expanding its PHEV test fleet.

Those aforementioned plug-ins will be equipped with lithium-ion batteries, and Toyota has begun planning with partner Panasonic to expand its battery operations to include an automotive li-ion production line. Throwing down the gauntlet, Watanabe closed the event by enticing the media to return to Detroit next year, where two new hybrids will be unveiled. The two new hybrid models, one for Lexus and one for Toyota, are part of the Japanese automaker's goal of selling one million hybrids per year within the next ten years. It's starting to look like the Green Arena is where the next smackdown is headed now that the unbridled horsepower race has been choked off by the ever-looming new CAFE regs.

[Source: AutoblogGreen]