Il quotidiano nipponico Yomiuri Shimbun conferma le indiscrezioni già circolate su una nuova vettura ibrida Toyota da lanciare nel 2011.
Derivata dalla Yaris, modello costruito anche in Europa, la futura ibrida compatta affiancherà la Prius con ancor più bassi consumi: 2,5 litri ogni 100 km. Prezzo attorno ai 15.500 dollari (10.850 euro).
Destinata a tutti i mercati in cui la Toyota è presente con le ibride, è la risposta alla Honda in questo segmento. Di seguito il testo completo della notizia dal sito www.yomiuri.co.jp
Toyota Motor Corp. has decided to release as early as 2011 a small hybrid car with fuel-efficiency of 40 kilometers per liter with a price tag of 1.5 million yen, according to Toyota officials.
The “ultra-fuel-efficient” car will surpass in terms of fuel efficiency the latest model of Toyota’s top hybrid car, the Prius, which can achieve 38 kpl.
The envisaged model will be the world’s most fuel-efficient mass-produced hybrid car, whose main power source is gasoline.
Toyota wants to attract consumers who are conscious of energy-saving products and leave behind its rival, Honda Motor Co., in hybrid car sales.
The design of the envisaged new Toyota hybrid is based on the firm’s Vitz minicar. However, the new model’s fuel-efficiency is nearly double that of the Vitz, whose maximum fuel economy is 22 kpl. The new car’s planned price is the lowest among Toyota’s hybrid cars.
Toyota plans to sell the ultra-fuel-efficient car in Japan, the United States and Europe.
Hybrid cars are increasingly popular in Japan, mainly due to government tax breaks and subsidies for drivers who replace their “clunkers” with eco-friendly cars.
Honda raised its domestic sales target for the Insight, which is capable of 30 kpl, from the initial 60,000 to more than 100,000 for fiscal 2009, though it is less fuel-efficient than the Prius, because it has sold better than expected. Nissan Motor Co., too, plans to release hybrid cars as early as 2010.
Toyota also aims to prepare for the 2010 release of Honda’s new hybrid minicar, the Fit, by launching the small hybrid.
Toyota’s hybrid cars have two motors–an electric motor and a generator connected to the gas-powered engine. Their Honda counterparts have an electric motor to back up the combustion engine.
Toyota says its hybrids are more fuel-efficient as they cut off their gas-powered engines and use their electric motors as the sole source of power when they are driven at a low speed