Toyota has announced its line-up for the 2009 Frankfurt motor show – and it’ll be led by a new hybrid version of the Auris hatchback. The Hybrid Synergy Drive tech from the Prius has squeezed under the bonnet of the Auris to make a new, cleaner hatch and extend the Japanese firm’s lead in petrol-electric tech.
It won’t be just a battery-powered Auris on show, however. A Plug-in Hybrid concept version of the new Toyota Prius will on show, too. It signals that Toyota is intent on developing a Prius that can be topped up overnight, allowing further EV zero-emissions driving for day-to-day usage.
Toyota will launch 150 trial cars in 2010, letting customers try out the plug-in hybrid tech in the real world. Rival GM claims that 80% of European daily journeys are 40 or fewer miles, meaning that plug-in hybrids could enable large-scale electric vehicle usage. Run out of juice, and the engine starts up, reducing the range anxiety that comes with battery cars.
Toyota’s other cars at Frankfurt 2009
There’s also a brace of Scion-influenced Toyota iQs – one with a sporty bodykit (the appropriately named iQ for Sports) and one with a panoramic glass roof (the iQ Collection).
As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also the European debut of the Toyota Land Cruiser – the gently fettled giant 4×4 that lands in UK dealers in autumn 2009.