World debut: FT-CH, a dedicated compact hybrid concept

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Toyota has just unveiled the FT-CH dedicated hybrid concept at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

Styled at Toyota’s European Design and Development (ED²) centre in Nice, France, the FT-CH (CH standing for compact hybrid) is lighter and 22 inches shorter than Prius but less than an inch narrower than the well-known full hybrid, making it a similar size to Yaris. ED² designers aimed to balance comfort and interior roominess with responsiveness and manoeuvrability (not to mention a Prius-beating fuel economy) to give a car that will thrive in the inner-city environment. Add retro, 1980s-inspired looks, and you have a fun, stylish, innovative new car that will appeal strongly to young drivers.

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Toyota also announced that it is planning to launch eight new hybrid models in the USA over the next few years. These will be all-new dedicated hybrid vehicles (as the FT-CH is), or new hybrid versions of existing petrol engine models (like Auris HSD). Not only this, but there’s word of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCHVs) being introduced by 2015. Whether any of these new hybrids and FCHVs will make it to the UK market, we don’t know, but this plan certainly demonstrates Toyota’s full commitment to advanced battery technology.

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Comments (8)

  1. I am itching to change to a hybrid but like others find the Prius too large. I have found it very difficult to find details of Toyota’s plans to produce smaller hybrids i.e. base on Auris or Yaris. My ideal would be a hybrid Auris with a method of plug-in or (preferably)solar panel to increase the range of electric only driving.

  2. We currently drive a 3 year old Yaris which we think is brilliant. We decided against the Prius becuase it is too big for us – both of us being quite short with corresponding short legs so found the Prius far too big. As we are very environmentally conscious we would love to buy a compact hybrid so please do bring it to the UK. We’ll be your Uk guinea pigs if you like.

    1. Hi Vida,

      Thanks for volunteering! I’m not sure if you’re aware but Toyota is actually about to launch a hybrid version of its Auris model. It’s a C-segment car so is more compact than the Prius, but it will feature the same Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain as Prius. You’ll find more details plus video and images of the Auris HSD concept here. Details of the production model will be released on 2 March, and we’ll be sure to post them to the blog.

      Sorry for the delayed response, but thanks for your patience.

  3. With Toyota’s dedication to Hybrid’s and the environment. Surely Toyota UK should fetch the Alphard Hybrid into the UK.
    At 70mpg it would be perfect for Taxi’s, School Runs, Family holidays, and besides that…. I WANT ONE !

  4. Toyota only provide a limited range of SUV vehicles in the UK. Is there a possibility that they will introduce hybrid SUVs (similar to the range in USA) and 3 door Land Cruisers?

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