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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Toyota Auris HSD Hybrid to Debut Next Month

Toyota's UK-made, production-ready Auris Hybrid Synergy Drive will make its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show early next month.

The Auris HSD is a key part of Toyota's plan to introduce its full-hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain technology across its entire model range by the early 2020s, the company said in a statement.

In July, Toyota President Akio Toyoda said the carmaker would shift its focus in the diesel-heavy European market to hybrid vehicles as part of a new effort to use its resources more selectively. Toyota has a goal of selling at least 1 million hybrid vehicles a year within the next few years.

Built in Toyota's plant in Burnaston, England, which is about 120 miles north of London, the Auris HSD is the first Europe-made hybrid for the world's largest automaker.

Toyota Europe CEO Tadashi Arashima said making hybrids in Europe would help ensure that full hybrids "become more accessible to a wider range of customers."

The compact car will go on sale across Europe this summer. When Toyota showed the Auris Hybrid Concept at the Frankfurt Auto Show last September, the automaker said it uses 19 percent less fuel and emits 17 percent less carbon dioxide than the standard Auris.

The Auris HSD will share the stand with Toyota's growing lineup of low- or zero-CO2 models. The automaker will show the production version of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid and the all-electric FT-EV II Concept for the first time in Europe. Toyota's next-generation fuel cell hybrid vehicle, the FCHV-adv, also will be on display

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