According to 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. Thanks to Dean for the tip!