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Toyota is boosting production of hybrids in Japan by 30 percent compared to 2014 levels, and the company wants half of its sales there to be electrically assisted models as soon as next year.

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Earnings up 75 percent for 2014 fiscal year

In the land of diesel, Toyota appears to be making money its own way and thereby making more of it. The Japanese automaker is taking on Europe's diesel-centric ways by substantially boosting sales of hybrids on the continent. That, along with cost cutting measures, has increased the company's European profitability, Automotive News says, citing recent remarks by Toyota's European operations chief Didier Leroy.

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Toyota may have an ace up its sleeve in the fuel economy wars, as it's developed a new type of semiconductor that will allegedly help the company's hybrids net a ten-percent improvement in fuel economy.

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There's a new season of motor racing upon us, and while that doesn't always mean a new crop of cars in every series, in the case of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship, that's exactly what it means. Porsche recently revealed its new 919 Hybrid and Audi its revised R18 E-Tron Quattro. Now it's Toyota's turn.

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Historically, the Toyota Harrier has been a doppelgänger for North America's Lexus RX – at some points, it was little more than a badge-swap and a few options away, at least aesthetically. That appears to be changing with this just-revealed new generation at the Tokyo Motor Show.

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Posh JDM Cruiser Is Too Soft For America

We don't often come into contact with the Toyota Crown Hybrid, especially in colors other than pink. But when Toyota offered us the keys and a half-hour window to test out the Japanese version of the Lexus GS on US soil not long ago, we had to accept.

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Toyota has a great marketing line when it comes to the power of hybrids: "Toyota estimates its hybrids have saved their owners more than 3 billion gallons of gasoline worldwide compared to gasoline-only powered vehicles." We're not going to quibble with that number – it is impressive – but it did raise some questions. After all, if Toyota is really interested in saving billions of gallons of gas, then shouldn't the company try to improve the bottom, and not worry as much about the to

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Turbocharging isn't really Toyota's specialty, and the Japanese automaker isn't being shy about acknowledging it. Koei Saga, a senior managing officer in charge of drivetrain research and development, says that eschewing turbos and increasing displacement of engines using the Atkinson cycle can produce better power gains without sacrificing fuel economy, Automotive News reports.

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Toyota has released a second teaser of its Hybrid-R Concept, along with an estimation of the show car's power output. Using technology that's "similar to that used by Toyota Racing's TS030 Hybrid race car," the concept is expected to deliver over 400 horsepower.

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Japanese site CarWatch has revealed images of the next-generation Toyota Harrier, known to US and European buyers as the Lexus RX. The new model features a considerably more aggressive fascia in keeping with some of the latest Lexus design trends, while the back features a pair of wide, wraparound taillights.

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Toyota Prius owners aren't bad folks. With a few exceptions, they're just normal people who appreciate the comfortable, high-mileage hybrid. Someone in Arlington, Virginia doesn't see it that way, though, as 14 examples (and one Smart) had at least one tire slashed last Sunday night.

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"Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss."

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Given that the 2013 Avalon shares a platform with the new Lexus ES, this news should come as no surprise: Toyota's largest sedan is getting its own hybrid variant for the first time ever. Judging by these first photos, carspotters will have to squint hard to tell that they're looking at a hybrid, as there are only a few small badges and blue-tinted lenses as a tip-off to this vehicle's gas-electric motivation.

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Given that the 2013 Avalon shares a platform with the new Lexus ES, this news should come as no surprise: Toyota's largest sedan is getting its own hybrid variant for the first time ever. Judging by these first photos, carspotters will have to squint hard to tell that they're looking at a hybrid, as there are only a few small badges and blue-tinted lenses as a tip-off to this vehicle's gas-electric motivation.

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A million here, a million there. Sooner or later, those numbers add up.

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It's not the most pronounceable model name, but that's not our problem, is it?

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Toyota has launched its online Prius C configurator that allows prospective buyers to check out color schemes and price out options for the compact hybrid version of the world's best-selling hybrid model.

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In an effort to spur sales, Toyota seems willing to try just about anything to promote its hybrid lineup. Whether that's a Monopoly-themed booth at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show or a new twist on nature-spotting safaris with the new Prius Kingdom website, the Japanese automaker is certainly letting its promotion teams be creative.

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Speaking at the Economic Club of Chicago during the Chicago Auto Show last week, the president and COO of Toyota Motor North America, Yoshi Inaba, laid out his company's near-future plans, and made about as strong a case for hybrids as you're likely to hear this month. This is to be expected, since Toyota is going to launch 19 new or updated vehicles this year (including some from the Scion and Lexus brands) and, Inaba said, "nearly half will be hybrids or electric vehicles."

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