Early last year, rumors regarding Toyota's upcoming low-cost hybrid model swirled around for weeks. The speculation almost came to an end when the Yaris was named as the platform that would be chiseled out to receive the company's Hybrid Synergy Drive technology. The selection of the Yaris was immediately followed by additional reports hinting that Toyota's low-cost hybrid would go on sale in Japan in early 2011 with a base price of 1.5 million yen ($17,902 U.S. at the current exchange rate).
While the rumors continued fly, Toyota never confirmed its intent to build a Yaris-based hybrid and, without official word from the company, the number of speculative reports quickly dwindled down to nothing. Until now. Reuters is reporting that Toyota will begin production of its Yaris-based hybrid at its factory in France next April. Unsurprisingly, Toyota still won't comment on future plans, but the report suggests that the hybrid version will be built alongside the conventional Yaris. Citing the Mid-Japan Economist, Reuters also notes that the Yaris hybrid will be available in Europe, but it appears as though the surging strength of Japanese yen could keep Toyota's subcompact hybrid away from U.S. soil.