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Another Toyota Hybrid Due at NAIAS

Expanding the lineup with a post Prius offering?

by on Dec.15, 2009

No details, just a teaser shot of another dedicated hybrid?

No details yet, just a teaser shot of another dedicated hybrid?

Toyota Motor Sales, USA will stage the world debut of a new “dedicated” hybrid concept vehicle during the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The vehicle will be revealed during a news conference held on Monday, January 11.

No other details were released, leading to speculation that Toyota’s phenomenal success with hybrids in general and with the third generation Prius makes room for a second freestanding hybrid, one not built off an existing platform and model series.

Presumably, the new addition to the line will be larger than the Prius and get fewer than the astounding 50 mpg Prius, the clear mileage champion among current production alternate vehicles.

It has also been discussed at length inside Toyota whether it is feasible to spin Prius off as a freestanding brand within a brand.

The announcement comes as Toyota plans to introduce the first plug-in version of the Prius to fleet customers starting next year. The Japanese company is not saying what it will, er, charge, the first fleet customers – 230 in Japan, 150 in the U.S., and another 200 in Europe. Executive Vice President Takeshi Uchiyamada would only say that the retail version would be offered at a “reasonable price” when it reaches retail showrooms for the 2012 model-year.

“I can only say it will be a price that will have potential buyers seeing a plug-in as a viable option,” added Uchiyamada. The standard version of the 2010 Toyota Prius carries a list price ranging from $21,750 to $28,420.

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has steadily expanded its line-up of hybrid-electric vehicles, or HEVs, since launching the first version in Japan, the “Coaster Hybrid EV,” during August of 1997. The Prius followed that December in Japan, and sales of the mass-produced Prius models began in North America, Europe and elsewhere in 2000.

Worldwide sales of TMC hybrids are now well over two million units.

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