Toyota is planning an all-out assault on the hybrid market in the next couple of years, both in the U.S. and other major markets around the globe. While in the U.S. we can expect a new compact hybrid based on the Yaris, as well as an eventual plug-in hybrid Prius, over in Europe Toyota is planning something special, and we can expect a major announcement at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

It was only a week ago Toyota revealed that it would be creating a hybrid version of the Yaris compact, but while this model is designed to take on Honda's Fit in around two or three years, Toyota is claiming that the Frankfurt announcement will be in regards to one of its core European-region models, according to Autocar.

Just what this spells for Toyota's future in hybrids is still uncertain, but it has led some speculators to predict that Toyota may have a hybrid variant of the Auris small car in the offing, with a production date likely to be around next year.

Whether there is any substance to these claims will have to be tested at Frankfurt, but logically speaking a hybrid Auris would fit in with Toyota's plans to downsize their hybrids to compete with Honda and Ford.

Earlier this year, Toyota's chief engineer for the 2010 Prius, Akihoko Otsuka, claimed that Toyota was "going to compete by expanding [their] hybrid-vehicle lineup to smaller hybrids". This leads us to the assumption that hybrid vehicles are set to play a larger role in Toyota's smaller cars - but whether this means a hybrid Auris is coming next year, we'll just have to wait and see.