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Report: Toyota Plans Yaris-Based Hybrid For U.S.

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2009 Toyota Yaris

2009 Toyota Yaris

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Honda has confirmed that it will build a hybrid version of its Fit subcompact next year so it’s only fit (excuse the pun) that Toyota launches its own gasoline-electric version of its own Yaris. According to latest reports coming out of Japan Toyota plans to launch a new hybrid model that is cheaper and more fuel efficient than the Toyota Prius, and it could be on sale as early as 2011.

The vehicle would be priced around ¥1.5 million (approximately $15,650) and deliver 94 mpg, Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported. Toyota's subcompact Yaris will allegedly serve as the basis for a new hybrid model, though it will feature new styling and a new hybrid system that's apparently less expensive than those found in the automaker’s other hybrid vehicles.

According to the report the car will be sold in the U.S., Europe and Japan. Toyota refused to comment on the reports stating that it did not discuss future product plans.

Honda’s own Fit hybrid will be based on the regular compact hatch already on sale in the U.S. and is estimated to cost a little over $15,000. Not much else is known about the car but its release date is slated for late 2010.

[AutoNews, sub req'd]

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