Two new hybrids, one Toyota, one Lexus to join new Prius at Detroit show?
So, we already know that Toyota will be showcasing its new third-generation Prius hybrid sedan at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show early in 2009. It's long been assumed that this new third-gen Prius would spawn a Lexus vehicle using the same platform and a similar hybrid system. Differences would include a higher price, obviously, and lithium ion batteries in place of the nickel metal hydrides installed in the Prius. What may be more interesting to some, though, is news that Toyota will also be displaying a third hybrid vehicle at the same show. Without giving away too many details, Masatami Takimoto, a VP in charge of research and development, indicates that this third hybrid will be a totally new car based on a larger platform than the current and next Prius. As has been widely reported, including on this very blog, Toyota's first plug-in hybrid is expected to debut in 2010.
In other green news, Toyota will be adding new gasoline-burning 1.3 liter and 2.5 liter engines along with stop/start technology, which is becoming increasingly popular in these days of high gasoline prices. Also on the docket is a new six speed manual transmission which will be kept compact for use in small cars. We look forward to seeing what else Toyota's got up its corporate sleeves.
[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]
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