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Prius' powertrain could find new home in Toyota's "sporty" CR-Z rival

Toyota FT-CH – Click above for high-res image gallery

By 2020, Toyota plans to offer a hybrid model in every car category across the board. Many of the upcoming hybrids will utilize the Prius' tried-and-true hybrid setup. The company is reluctant to develop an entirely new hybrid system when the one found in the Prius already performs its duties with such a high level of efficiency. Toyota has fine-tuned its current 1.8-liter gasoline engine, electric motor and nickel metal hydride battery setup to near perfection, but as the company reaches out to expand its hybrid model lineup, could the Prius powertrain actually be adapted for unintended uses such as a sporty hybrid offering? Toyota seems to think so.

Toyota's powertrain extraordinaire Gerald Killman believes that the Prius' exceptional hybrid setup could easily be tweaked a bit to make one heck of a Honda CR-Z competitor. As Killman told Autocar:
Our hybrid technology is adaptable. There is flexibility in the application of our hybrid system; we don't want to develop a new one when we can give ours more character.
If Toyota is seriously considering a sporty hybrid rival to the CR-Z, the FT-CH concept displays the company's probable design direction. Adapting the Prius' powertrain to something sporty seems a stretch, but another "nearly sporty" hybrid could be coming soon.

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Photos by Sebastian Blanco / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.
[Source: Autocar]

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