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by Tim Beissmann

Toyota is looking to put a troubled start to the new decade behind it with the European premieres of five new vehicles at next month’s Geneva Motor Show.

Headlining the unveilings is the world’s first look at the showroom-ready Toyota Auris (Corolla in Australia) HSD (hybrid synergy drive).

Built in Britain at Toyota’s Burnaston factory, the Auris HSD will join the European line-up mid-year and marks another step towards Toyota’s ambition to make hybrid powertrain technology available throughout its entire model range by the beginning of the next decade.

Joining it on the podium will be the Prius Plug-In Hybrid and the all-electric FT-EV II sports car concept, as well as Toyota’s next generation fuel cell hybrid vehicle, the FCHV-adv.

Of most immediate relevance to Australia is the debut of the 2010 Toyota RAV4, which will display a sophisticated, Toyota-family front end and a revised interior.

Toyota will hold its press conference and official unveilings at the Geneva Motor Show on March 2.