Report: Toyota planning production of two new hybrids in Europe


Toyota will start production of an Auris hybrid in the UK from the middle of next year

Toyota will start production of an Auris hybrid in the UK from the middle of next year

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Toyota has some bold plans for its hybrid lineup in Europe. The auto giant will reportedly launch a new entry-level, dedicated hybrid Lexus hatchback in Europe next year and now it’s claimed Toyota will also start production of another hybrid model in France.

While the Lexus version will be aimed at upmarket consumers and designed to rival cars like the BMW 1-series and Audi A3, the European-produced hybrid will be much more affordable and could be based on the compact Yaris.

The information comes from Japan’s Asahi newspaper, which also reports that Toyota will launch this compact hybrid in Japan in late 2011 with a price tag of roughly ¥1.5 million ($15,760). The European version will likely start production that same year.

The new dedicated hybrid will use the platform and engine of the Yaris compact, which will be fully remodeled ahead of the car’s launch. The new hybrid also will feature a more cost-competitive and fuel-efficient hybrid system than that of the Prius, the reports claim.

This won’t be the first hybrid Toyota builds in Europe, however. The automaker plans to build a gasoline-electric version of its Auris hatchback (sold as a Corolla in other markets) at its factory near Derby in the UK by the middle of next year.

 
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