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Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Toyota Hybrid is the Scion iQ Hybrid

Edmunds is reporting (in a now removed article) that the hybrid concept being announced on Monday in Detroit will be a Scion iQ Hybrid. According to Edmunds' Inside Line, the iQ Hybrid will be released in a five-door hatchback and sedan body style. The hatchback will go on sale in the US first, sometime in 2011.

Sources close to the project told Edmunds the hybrid iQ uses a front-mounted 1.5-liter gasoline engine in combination with a front-drive electric motor, developing an estimated 100-120 horsepower.

This hybrid system is rumored to return more than 60 mpg. And apparently, it's cheap enough to produce that Toyota will still be able to price the car around $15,000.

Even so, the Scion iQ family will include non-hybrid models as well. The line is expected to include both a 3-door hatchback and a convertible referred to internally as the iQ Sports. The convertible has a retractable top, as on the similarly sized Smart ForTwo. It would be offered with a 93-hp 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine.

A Toyota-badged iQ 3-door hatch is of course already on sale in Japan and Europe. A version of that car was shown as a Scion concept at the 2009 New York Auto Show. Last summer, a 3-door hatch was spotted during hot-weather testing in Death Valley.

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