Toyota showed off the new FT-CH at the Detroit auto show today - and confirmed a whole family of Prius extensions. The edgily styled FT-CH is set to be one of those new Prius models.
Tell me about the Toyota FT-CH
The Yaris-sized concept was designed in ED2, Toyota's Euro design base in Nice, France. There are hints of iQ, especially around the arrow-sharp nose, but the point of this car is to appeal to younger buyers. Jim Lentz, the Toyota US chief, said it's aimed at 'the 8-bit generation.' That's a demographic inspired by retro 70s and 80s geek chic - the FT-HC was launched with a Space invaders theme.
What's under the bonnet?
No tech details have been issued yet, but Toyota says it's lighter and more fuel efficient than the Prius, and will come with a cheaper price tag. The FT-HC is 25cm shorter than a Prius, on a 15cm shorter wheelbase, but just as wide so there are four seats.
It looks good. We're just glad Toyota is showing signs of injecting some pizzazz into its wholesome hybrid range. It sold 530,000 hybrids last year, and with eight all-new hybrids in the pipeline, that figure can only grow: Toyota wants to sell one million hybrids per year by the early 2010s, with the majority of sales in North America. There's also the promise of battery electric EVs in 2012, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles come 2015.
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