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Frankfurt Motor Show 2009: more hybrids revealed

Hybrid concepts from Toyota and Lexus and Mini E

Toyota Auris Hybrid

Blue tinted lights help Toyota’s Auris Hybrid stand out 

Toyota and Lexus have both confirmed they are to show new petrol-electric hybrid hatchback concepts at the forthcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.

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Details are currently scarce, but it seems logical to assume the cars share some underlying technology, as Lexus is a premium brand subsidiary of Toyota, and much of this is adapted from the latest Toyota Prius.

Toyota Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept

Toyota’s offering is a concept version of the full hybrid Auris it has already confirmed it will produce next year. This will be the first hybrid version of a regular Toyota production model. Unsurprisingly, the concept looks like an Auris – only with blue-tinted lights and extra stickers.

All-new Lexus LF-Ch

Lexus LF-Ch

LF-Ch is the first compact premium hatchback from Lexus

The Lexus LF-Ch on the other hand is an entirely new addition to the Lexus line-up, and the first time the brand has offered any kind of compact premium hatchback. The LF-Ch will have five doors for practicality, and the ability to operate on electric power alone. The styling sketches shown so far make it out to be good looking, if rather aggressive.

Plug-in Prius on the way?

Alongside these two new young upstarts, Toyota will be showing a Plug-in Hybrid concept version of the Prius, while Lexus shows off revised versions of the LS and GS. By giving owners the ability to recharge their cars overnight, Toyota hopes the plug-in Prius will offer increased electric-only motoring capability; a 150-car trial of this vehicle kicks off next year.

Mini E

First Mini E trial is about to start

All-electric Mini E open to applications

Meanwhile, in other electric vehicle news, if you are interested in participating in the Mini E UK research project, 20 cars are now available to lease for £330 a month. The first round of six-month trials are open for application now, with another round following in 2010.

The Mini E is an all-electric version of the regular Mini hatchback, powered by a 201bhp electric motor.

The trials are region specific, limited to South East England, and have detailed eligibility requirements. Full info is available online at the website: www.electricMINI.co.uk


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