The Japanese news source Asahi Shumbun reports that Toyota Motor Corp. plans to debut a new, all-hybrid model by 2009.The world’s second largest automaker states that, unlike its Camry or Lexus brand vehicles which offer a hybrid trim as well as regular gasoline-powered engines, the new sedan will only be offered as a hybrid similar to the automaker’s Prius. The new car will be larger than the latter vehicle and equipped with a 2.5 or 3.0 liter engine. The Prius currently uses a 1.5 liter engine. The changes are due to the fact that the new car will be targeted at Americans who prefer such larger, more powerful, vehicles.
Toyota has not specified when concepts of the new sedan will be available. The new engines, however, will arrive in future Prius models.
Our take? The major argument against hybrids, that they’re not worth the premium price, may soon be eliminated as Toyota, the world’s largest automakers of hybrids, gears to bring less expensive and more powerful versions to the marketplace.