Toyota Hybrid Concept Confirmed for 2010 Detroit Auto Show

December 14, 2009

Toyota has confirmed it will show a new hybrid car concept at the Detroit auto show next month. And hybrid followers are eagerly speculating what it might be: a two-door Prius? a hybrid Yaris? a 2011 Scion iQ hybrid? or a dedicated plug-in hybrid?

The king of hybrids says you'll have to wait a month until you see the latest gas-electric vehicle. Toyota says its newest hybrid-car concept will bow at the 2010 North American International Auto Show, at a press conference on Monday, January 11.

Toyota hasn't confirmed any other details, but the automaker has been widely expected to counter the 2010 Honda Insight with a new vehicle that's less expensive and less complex than its 2010 Toyota Prius. The Prius carries a base price of $22,400, while the Insight has a base price of $19,800. This could be accomplished with a new-generation Yaris with hybrid power.

However, Toyota's also said to be working on a two-door hybrid, a further development of the Prius architecture. The new hybrid could be a two-door Prius coupe, that would compete with the 2011 Honda CR-Z being readied for the U.S. market.

A more extreme possibility: a hybrid version of the 2011 Scion iQ city car we showed you last week thrashing around a holiday-congested parking lot.

Perhaps the most exciting option of all: a dedicated plug-in hybrid, with a new shape distinct from the Prius, based on the plug-in version of its Hybrid Synergy Drive it's now testing in 600 Prius Plug-In Hybrid models. Toyota said this morning it will sell a plug-in hybrid to consumers starting in 2011.

We'll have more on the new Toyota hybrid as details emerge; stay with us as High Gear Media covers the 2010 Detroit auto show over the holidays and covers it live starting January 10.

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