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Toyota Hybrid Concept teaser - Click above for high-res image gallery

According to the The Detroit News, Toyota's upcoming hybrid concept that will be debuted at the Detroit Auto Show on January 11th will be a subcompact machine that's destined for production. Citing sources familiar with the project, DN says that the car will go into production in Japan in 2011 with U.S. sales slated for the beginning of 2012.

There's some speculation that the new model might borrow the Prius name in an effort to capitalize on that car's undisputed sales success. Toyota reportedly hopes to sell 150,000 subcompact hybrids per year.

Finally, DN reports that Toyota has sped up development of small cars and hybrids, including a premium compact hatchback for its Lexus division, as foreshadowed by the LF-Ch concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. No word on whether the subcompact hybrid will use nickel metal hydride or lithium ion batteries.

[Source: The Detroit News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they build this and it comes with the clever engineering of the iQ and prius combined they will not be able to build enough of them, regardless of what all the boy-racer types think.
      If Honda really wants to compete they had better begin to pull it together.
      The CRZ looks interesting but honda has generally failed over the past several years to trick people into its honda and accord 'hybrids' that often cost much more but do not deliver on a lot better mileage.
      The specs I have seen so far on the CRZ do not seem a lot better than a 15 year old del sol.
      Another thing a lot of performance freaks seem to utterly fail to realize is that much of the world lives in urban jungles where the diminutive size of a vehicle is performance in and of itself. It is well worth paying for something that might slip into that slip of a parking spot rather than continuing to circle the block looking.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree with Mike. Toyota has another winner with this iQ based hybrid. The big factors here will be killer city MPG and low entry price. The ultimate city car.

        "hybrids are a trend that will pass, with their needless complication"

        You are on the wrong side of reality. Hybrids will only end now when the ICE isn't used anymore. If you see complication, you don't understand how it works. Mechanically HSD is very simple, even more simple that a standard car. It has been well proven in Taxi service that a Prius has just about the lowest maintenance cost of any car on the planet.

        I won't buy one because I am a dedicated MT driver, but I appreciate what is happening here. Those who thing this is some kind of short lived trend are only fooling themselves.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Hold on mike, Toyota is guilty of the same high price/low mileage return BS on their Camry, Highlander and Lexus LS hybrids.

        In the interest of full disclosure, I am a domestic car person, but I respect Honda's engineering ability. They are the least offensive Asian manufacturer. Maybe they feel as many of us do, hybrids are a trend that will pass, with their needless complication and high price/low benefit ratio. That could explain their relatively half-hearted commitment to them in relation to Toyota, who, in my opinion, has hoodwinked people into thinking they need such overkill.

        A more effective way to better use of resources is to reduce vehicle weight, which in turn allows for smaller, more efficient engines with the same resultant performance. Diesels and alternative fuels for our conventional internal combustion engines could lead us to where we want to go without the needless complication of hybrid tech.
        • 5 Years Ago

        You make a fair point that some of toyota's vehicles have fallen in that same camp as civic and accord hybrids.
        Still, there is no denying the powerhouse product that the prius has been and it certainly delivers in mileage.
        It's true that some diesels compete well with it but that is more a testament to those latter-day deisels than a knock against the prius hybrid tech.
        The stuff may or may not be complicated and may or may not be better at the moment than diesel or whatever other ICE technology you want to talk about.
        But we must also remember that this hybrid tech is very young and that ICE tech is incredibly mature.
        This stuff is hardly flash-in-the-pan going away technology.
        I agree with Snowdog... it will go by the wayside .. but only when ICE dies out completely for general use.
        It has not been a smart choice for us to continue to rely on oil based fuels for several decades now or more... but it continues because big money is planted in the ground with it and it is very hard to overcome such mature products and entrenched infrastructure and social acceptance.
        We will all be a good deal better off when we rely more on energy which we are not depleting a limited amount of and not needing to get from somewhere else on the planet.
        I think we should be pouring government money into battery research like it is the new moon-shot. That and renewable energies in general.
        Further - when we get the technology the government should liscense it cheaply for many companies to build.
        I'd even be happy if we just gave it away to any country that wanted.
        Renewable energy and the ability to store it effectively would cure so many problems in this world it would not be funny.
        It would be as big a discovery as fire, the wheel, or computers.
        We'll get there at some point and future generations will look back at it as a turning point - speaking of the world's history in 'pre' and 'post' terminology relating to it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Er, So there are going to be many new and redesigned models from Toyota in 2011/12. Hope the New models will become a better than what people think they are, and redesign models heavily improve over the previous ones. I highly believe that Toyota a make FT-86 the koolest small coupe in the market.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just six days until we see this car!

      • 5 Years Ago
      I'll tell you what, the NHTSA needs to investigate that paint color. *gag*
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah, yeah that's some nice eco blah blah, but how about speeding up the development of the new MR-S, FT-86 and maybe a new Supra. And yeah, this hybrid car will be a Yaris replacement, I think.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The idea of a subcompact hybrid, or just a hybrid that isn't Prius-sized, is really interesting.

        In related news, also found interesting are vehicles that aren't really really ugly.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am looking forward to this.
      And also a boatload of diesels to choose from.
      • 5 Years Ago
      so now toyota feels the need to put 2 hybrids in response to Honda's CR-Z... i'm thinking overkill?
      • 5 Years Ago
      The people who buy hybrids have money and don't want to sit in a sardine can, and will buy a Prius or Fusion Hybrid.

      Anyone who wanted to make a statement by buying a tiny car already got a Smart (and there were like 10 of them).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Read it again Jim, he didn't say the Ford made a statement.

        Though I do agree with your sentiment - the ego strokers won't be buying the Fusion.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Fusion hybrid? No, people looking to make a statement will buy a Prius. Buying a Fusion Hybrid doesn't make a statement because it doesn't stand out enough.

        We Americans all want everyone to know about all the great things we do anonymously. We love to brag about how selfless and humble we are.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Borrow the Prius name huh? This will be the Prius Light? Less room, same great price tag.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The only news I care about from toyota right now is about the FT-86.
      The rest is all meh and stored in the Camry-Prius part of my brain.
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