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Detroit 2010: Toyota FT-CH Concept Previews Compact Prius Model

Funky entry-level hybrid inspired by Nintendo games

 |  Jan 11 2010, 10:40 AM

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Toyota has announced that it will expand the Prius name to become an entire family of dedicated hybrid vehicles. Launched today at the Detroit Auto Show, the FT-CH Hybrid Concept is a look at what the next model in the Prius lineup is likely to be.

Inspired by 8-bit technology made famous by early Nintendo games like Contra and Mario Brothers, the car is funky with plenty of edges and even some square holes designed into the bodywork.

As for the car itself, it is 22-inches shorter than the current Prius, but has a wheelbase that is only 6-inches shorter, offering maximum interior room. Inside, there’s room for four. The name itself signifies the car’s designation, with the CH standing for Compact Hybrid. According to Toyota, “The FT-CH captures the spirit and functionality of a car that thrives in the inner-city environment; sized right to be nimble, responsive and maneuverable.”

There’s no word from Toyota on what is under the hood, other than some sort of Hybrid Synergy Drive system, that gets better fuel mileage than the Prius – an impressive feat indeed when the current third-generation Prius nets 51/48 mpg (city/highway).

Toyota is expected to deliver this model to market, keeping much of its fresh and funky design.

“Other dedicated hybrid models are also on their way. “In the early 2010s, Toyota plans to sell a million hybrids per year globally, a majority of those in North America,” said Jim Lentz, Toyota Motor Sales president. “To accomplish this, Toyota will launch eight all new hybrid models over the next few years.  These will not include next generation versions of current hybrids; instead, they will be all new dedicated hybrid vehicles, or all new hybrid versions of existing gas engine models.”

Lentz also commented that in the future hybrids will be the core powertrain technology for Toyota and that Toyota believes hybrid technology will become the staple throughout the auto industry.

GALLERY: Toyota FT-CH Hybrid Concept

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GALLERY: Toyota FT-CH Hybrid Concept Official Photos

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Official release after the jump:

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Breaking: Scion iQ Hybrid Coming in 2011

New $15,000 iQ Hybrid will get 60 mpg

 |  Jan 07 2010, 12:00 PM

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***See AutoGuide’s LIVE 2010 Detroit Auto Show Coverage Here***

The pieces of puzzle are starting to come together and it looks like Toyota is planning on launching a hybrid version of the iQ mini-car in North America, branded as a Scion. According to a report by InsideLine, the a concept version of this car is the “dedicated hybrid concept” that Toyota will unveil at the Detroit Auto Show next week.

The iQ Hybrid will be offered as both a five-door hatchback and as a sedan, with the hatch going on sale in 2011. Impressively, it will get over 60 mpg thanks to a 1.5-liter engine used as a part of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy drive.

In addition, the 3-door, currently sold in Europe and Japan will also be branded as a Scion in North America. The Smart fortwo-sized hatch will be powered by a 99-hp 1.3-liter 4-cylinder and be offered as a convertible as well. With the hybrid and non-hybrid versions, this will essentially add four new models to Scion’s product lineup.

Scion unveiled a concept version of the iQ at the New York Auto Show last year. See more of that car in the Gallery below.

GALLERY: Toyota iQ

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GALLERY: Scion iQ Concept

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[Source : InsideLine]