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First Look: Toyota Yaris HSD Concept

Japanese giant downsizes battery power.

by on Feb.28, 2011

Toyota will unveil the Yaris HSD Concept in Geneva.

Toyota officials have often suggested that they’d like to make their Hybrid Synergy Drive system available as an option on just about every product in their line-up.  They underscored that commitment at last month’s Detroit Auto Show, and even more battery news will be coming at this week’s Geneva Motor Show.

Making its world debut at the PALExpo conference center, the Yaris HSD Concept shows it’s possible to put a version of Toyota’s hybrid technology in one of the maker’s smallest models – which happens to compete in one of the biggest market niches in Europe.

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Specific details are being held for the Toyota news conference but sources say that the Yaris HSD Concept is just a thinly-disguised version of the production car we’ll be seeing in European showrooms in the very near future.

Toyota will have a variety of Synergy Drive-powered offerings on display, including the Prius+, the first model to compete in the 7-passenger multi-purpose vehicle, or MPV segment.

At the Detroit show, Prius officially confirmed it will be rolling out an assortment of new models sharing the popular Prius badge, including models both larger and smaller than the familiar Prius sedan – consistently the world’s best-selling hybrid.

The Toyota stand will be flooded with not only conventional hybrids but other forms of green propulsion, including plug-in hybrids, pure battery-electric vehicles, and fuel-cell vehicles.

Facing a new level of competition from makers like Nissan, General Motors and Renault, among others, Toyota is struggling to ensure it remains the perceived leader in environmentally friendly automobiles.

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