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After much speculation, Toyota has finally confirmed that a concept version of the Prius Plug-In Hybrid will appear at the Frankfurt Auto Show next week.
Designed to take on the Chevy Volt, there is no word on when full public sales of the Prius PHV start, while the Volt is scheduled for sale in early 2011. “Although we like to be first to market with these technologies, it’s more important that we are best to market,” said Irv Miller, TMS group vice president, environmental and public affairs. “This demonstration program will ensure that the vehicles we bring to market will not just meet customer expectations, but exceed them.”
As for the numbers, they don’t sound all that competitive, with an expected electric-only range of 12 miles, as opposed to the 40 miles claimed by General Motors. Using Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive and lithium-ion batteries, Toyota says the Prius PHV will be able to reach highway speeds on pure electric power. Engineers at the Japanese automaker are also looking beyond lithium batteries for future energy solutions.
Later this year Toyota will deliver 500 Prius PHV vehicles, 150 of which will be sold in the United States.
Official release after the jump:
Image: Scion Fuse Concept
According to a report by Automotive news, Scion is looking to add a fourth model to its lineup. The media outlet quotes Scion VP Jack Hollis as saying, “We think there are a lot of opportunities for a [second] coupe. We think there is room for a bigger sedan and smaller vehicles. We think there is even a possibility for a truck-based vehicle with an open bed.”
This opens up a whole range of possibilities for the brand and has everyone reconsidering the Hako Coupe concept that was unveiled at the 2008 New York Auto Show and the Fuse concept that first made an appearance back in 2006 at the same show.
While the Fuse seems like old news, we should point out that the company recently displayed the model at the Montreal Auto Show. And the reason this bit of info is significant is because Scion recently announced that it will be expanding into Canada and the Montreal Show marked the first time Scion displayed at an Auto Show in Canada and outside the Unites States.
Image: Scion Hako Coupe
There is also a possibility, although somewhat slim, that this model will be a stand-alone hybrid model. During the unveiling of the Lexus HS250h, Irv Miller, Toyota Motor Sales Group VP, Environmental and Public Affairs, said that, “Sometime early in the next decade, we plan to sell one million gas-electric hybrids per year. To accomplish this we will launch as many as 10 new hybrid models between now and then in various global markets.”
Before the launch of the HS250h we never would have considered a Scion hybrid but now that Toyota has announced its ambitious hybrid goals and has created the first every luxury hybrid we could certainly see them building the first ever economy-hybrid. Also, building a second coupe would seem a little redundant – except if it was a stand-alone hybrid coupe.