Toyota’s versatile petrol-electric hybrid system will find its way from the Prius into new models as part of the corporation’s plans to have a hybrid in every range by 2020.
Toyota will produce one million hybrid drivetrains this year, to be used in its Prius and Auris HSD models. It is reluctant to develop a new system for future hybrids, given the proven reliability and cost advantages of its 1.8-litre petrol engine/electric motor/nickel-metal hydride batteries system.
Toyota’s powertrain guru, Gerald Killman, confirmed the company would be launching more hybrids and its current hybrid system could lend itself to sporty driving characteristics.
“Our hybrid technology is adaptable,” he claimed. “There is flexibility in the application of our hybrid system; we don’t want to develop a new one when we can give ours more character.”
Toyota has long been rumoured to be developing a sporty hybrid to rival the Honda CR-Z. The FT-CH concept from the Detroit show in January previewed how such a car might look.
Asked whether new hybrids would also take the Prius name to make a family of cars, Killman said, “That’s for the marketing department to decide.”