Confirmed: Toyota Brings Auris Hybrid to Europe

Japanese manufacturer Toyota has officially confirmed it will begin production of the full-hybrid version of the Auris, scheduled to enter the European market towards the middle of 2010. The hybrid Auris will be built in Burnaston, Derbyshire.

"With today's announcement, Toyota has taken a significant step forward in ensuring that full hybrids become more accessible to a wider range of customers," Tadashi Arashima,Toyota Europe CEO said. "Such efforts are crucial if we are to see more low-carbon vehicles on European roads."

Although no official technical data has yet been releases, rumors say the new hybrid will rely on a 1.8-liter Atkinson gasoline engine developing 98 bhp connected to an electric unit that also generates 80 bhp.

"We are developing a low-priced hybrid vehicle like Honda's Insight," Akihiko Otsuka, chief engineer of the redesigned, third-generation Toyota Prius, said. in April. "We are going to compete by expanding our hybrid-vehicle lineup to smaller hybrids, in the class of the Vitz and Yaris.

"The Auris platform was designed so it could also carry a hybrid system,"
Otsuka said. "By making it flexible, it can accommodate future overseas production and reduce costs."

Toyota will rely heavily on its hybrids in the future, after posting a 26 percent drop in European sales for the first half of month.

"We expect our hybrid mix to strengthen, thanks to a strong order bank for the new generation RX 450h, which was launched in May with best-in-class CO2 of just 148 g/km. This should help to improve sales performance moving into the second half," said Andy Pfeiffenberger, Lexus Europe vice president added.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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