According to reports, Toyota will build a hybrid version of its most popular car next year
Toyota has plans to produce a petrol-electric hybrid version of its Auris (known in New Zealand as the Corolla) hatchback, at its British factory, according to newsagency reports.
Reuters quotes a Japanese industry newspaper as saying this would mark Toyota’s first locally produced hybrid car in Europe.
The new small car will debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September and will be built in the United Kingdom as part of Toyota’s plan to increase its presence in Europe through hybrid technology.
The Corolla hybrid will reportedly share the Prius' 1.8-litre petrol engine and 80bhp electric motor.
It will help Toyota to comply with strict new European emission regulations that limit CO2 tailpipe emissions to just 120 grams per kilometre by 2015. The current Toyota emits 171g/km.
The Japanese carmaker recently confirmed it would introduce eight new hybrid models – split between its Toyota and Lexus brands - into the Australian market in the next four years.
The expansion of Toyota’s local hybrid range is in keeping with the global ambitions of the company, which plans to have a hybrid version of every vehicle in its range by the 2020s.