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Toyota FT-CH: A Prius for the Small Car Set

Toyota FT-CH hybrid

It’s hard to say if Toyota could ever put out another hybrid that matches both the sales and hype of the Prius, but car company might be onto something with the FT-CH hybrid, unveiled this week at the Detroit Auto Show. The pint-sized hybrid, which measures 153 inches long and 68.5 inches wide and is lighter and more fuel-efficient than the ever-popular Prius.

Toyota FT-CH hybrid

According to Toyota, the car will be cheaper than the Prius. The focus on younger, less affluent buyers is the motivation behind the FT-CH’s “8-bit generation” style–a nod to retro video game chic. Beyond those few details, Toyota is staying mum. That’s probably because the FT-CH is still a concept and may or may not ever make it to production. We hope it does, though, because a cheap Toyota-branded hybrid is virtually guaranteed to be a hit.

Regardless of the FT-CH’s production status, Toyota plans to release 8 new hybrid models. None of them will be based on current Toyota hybrids–in other words, a Prius upgrade won’t count as one of the 8. That doesn’t mean the Prius won’t get some swanky upgrades, however. The next-generation plug-in hybrid Prius, scheduled to start rolling out this year, comes with a Toyota first-generation lithium-ion battery and advanced in-vehicle communication devices.

[Via Green Car Congress]

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