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by Matt Brogan

In addition to the news of Toyota unveiling its Corolla HSD Full Hybrid Concept at Frankfurt comes news today that this will be one of two hybrid concept vehicles on display at the show.

The other will be the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept, a car set to expand the capabilities of Toyota’s full hybrid technology, known as Hybrid Synergy Drive.

The vehicle enables pure electric operation for short-range day-to-day transportation and will be part of an extensive field trial due to commence later this year in Japan, Europe and the United States consisting of more than 500 units.

Toyota Australia senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said up to eight new hybrid models will be launched in Australia over the next four years.

“We will expand our hybrid range beyond Prius and locally built Hybrid Camry, which goes on sale early next year,” Mr Buttner said. “The possibility of a Corolla-based hybrid coming to Australia is being discussed, but there is currently no firm plan or time frame. Similarly, we are hopeful we can participate in the international field trial that has been announced for plug-in Prius, although nothing has been confirmed.”

Frankfurt will also stage the European premiere of the next-generation Prado. This vehicle will go on sale in Australia during the fourth quarter of 2009.




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