Toyota Auris hybrid unveiled
* Auris hybrid concept car * Plug-in Prius * New iQ models, too...
Toyota will unveil a range of exciting new models at the Frankfurt motor show later this month.
New Auris hybrid
Toyota will expand its range of hybrid vehicles with a petrol-electric version of the Auris small family car.
The Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept will be displayed at the Frankfurt motor show and a production version of the car is expected to go on sale early next year.
The Auris hybrid, which will be built in the UK at Toyota's factory in Burnaston, Derbyshire, will use the same 'Hybrid Synergy Drive' technology as the latest Prius. That means a 1.8-litre petrol engine working with an 80bhp electric motor and an engine stop-start system to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The lighter Auris should improve on the Prius's 89g/km of CO2 and average fuel economy of 72.4mpg. It's expected to be cheaper than the Prius, too, bringing the Auris Hybrid closer in price to its key rival, the Honda Insight.
Special badging and aerodynamic tweaks will differentiate the Auris hybrid from the standard car.
The Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept also has new front-end styling, with fresh headlights, bonnet, bumper and grille. The same changes will be applied to the entire Auris range early next year.
Prius Plug-in Hybrid concept car
Toyota will also display the Prius Plug-in Hybrid concept car at the Frankfurt show.
The production model is adapted from the latest Prius, and can be charged using a standard domestic socket.
It uses a lithium ion battery that extends the Prius's electric-only range, cuts CO2 emissions and improves fuel consumption. For longer journeys it operates like a standard Prius, with a petrol engine that provides power, while also charging the battery.
The first examples of the new plug-in Prius will be leased to customers in Strasbourg, France, at the end of 2009. Toyota expects to lease over 150 examples in Europe by the middle of 2010 and predicts that over 500 cars will be on trial in Europe, Japan and the US by the end of 2010.
More new models
Toyota will have an all-new Toyota Land Cruiser on display at the show, too prior to its launch later this year.
There'll also be two special iQ models the iQ for Sports and iQ Collection, which showcase potential new versions of Toyota's clever city car.
More details on Toyota's new models will be announced next week.