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Toyota is planning to offer hybrid versions of all of its vehicles by 2020 and the next step in that process is a Hybrid Synergy Drive version of the Corolla-based Auris hatchback sold in the U.K. Toyota unveiled a prototype of that vehicle, the Auris HSD Concept at the Frankfurt Auto Show today.
The Auris HSD Concept uses the same Hybrid Synergy Drive powerplant as found in the current third-generation Prius. With a 1.8-liter gasoline engine and electric motor, power output should be about the same with 134 ponies under the hood. With a slightly heavier package acceleration should be close with a 10 second 0-60 mph time. Fuel-economy is expected to be similar as well, but not quite as high as the Prius, due in part to a drag coefficient that isn’t quite as good as 0.28 cd, as compared to the Prius’s 0.25 cd rating. The Prius gets a rating of 51/48 mpg, so even a close rating will still be impressive.
Aerodynamic enhancements have been made over the current Auris, however, with different front and rear bumpers, underbody panels, a larger rear spoiler, a ride height that has been lowered by 20mm, low rolling resistance tires and special 18-inch wheels that cut air turbulence in the wheel arches.
Like the Prius, the Auris HSD Concept will get four driving modes, including ECO, Power and EV mode. The EV mode will allow the car to travel 1.25 miles or 2 km on just electric power at speeds up to 31 mph.
Another similar feature between the two cars are solar panels on the roof which work to power the fans in order to keep the car cool when parked. Toyota says it continues to look into ways to expand the use of solar panels on its hybrids and shows an example on the Auris HSD with solar panels on the dash that can be used to power cellular phones.
Toyota plans to bring a production model of the Auris HSD Concept to market in the U.K. in the second half of 2010 and will build the hybrid at Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) in Burnaston, U.K.
As the Auris is based on the Corolla platform, can a hybrid Corolla (or possibly a Matrix HSD) be far behind?