Toyota's 2011 Low-Cost Dedicated Hybrid to be Based on the Yaris

A news report has shed light on Toyota's plans to develop a dedicated small hybrid model to take on Honda's Insight hybrid that just went on sale in the USA. Speaking with Japan's Nikkei business newspaper Akihiko Otsuka, chief engineer of the third-generation Toyota Prius, revealed that Toyota's new low-cost dedicated hybrid will be based on the Yaris platform. The reason why Toyota is planning such a model, is because Honda's Insight significantly undercuts the new Prius in price.

"We are developing a low-priced hybrid vehicle like Honda's Insight," Otsuka told the newspaper. "We are going to compete by expanding our hybrid-vehicle lineup to smaller hybrids, in the class of the Vitz and Yaris."

Even though Otsuka did not reveal details on the launch date, reports from Japan suggest that the small hybrid could find its way into international markets as soon as 2011.

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