Toyota: Two Hybrids in Detroit Auto Show, not three

Lexus Hybrid Engine

Toyota’s Open Road blog has posted a clarification concerning last week’s report that three hybrids would be introduced at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show:

A report in Monday’s news indicating that Toyota might be showing a new third hybrid car at the Detroit show was the result of an apparent misunderstanding.

We’d like to clarify this: We will show one Toyota hybrid and one new Lexus hybrid.

The apparent misunderstanding was some quotes from Masatami Takimoto, the executive vice president in charge of R&D, who said that the new Toyota would be “a totally new car” and larger than the Prius.

I wonder then, could Takimoto have been talking about the new Lexus?



  1. “Totally new” and “larger” are good signs that this is not just a rebadged Prius…just wildly speculating that this will be a complementary vehicle to the Lexus International (Europe, Japan etc.) lineup.

  2. But little point in making a saloon almost the size of GS (taking into account the limited trunk space in the hybrid version), so could this be a totally different shape, like a compact SUV or even MPV? That’s something I’d like, an all-wheel drive, hybrid (compact) MPV with the Lexus luxury touch and design.

  3. This Lexus hybrid is quite a puzzle to me. I started off thinking it would be an ES-sized sedan, then moved to a Rav-4 sized SUV, and now I’m back to the ES.

    That said, if Lexus wanted to continue building on its performance focus as well as make inroads in the European market, wouldn’t a small hybrid BMW 1-series competitor be perfect?

  4. No doubt. But can they get the hybrid package small enough to leave any spare space? The 1-series is nice, but only for two. Then stuff some batteries in there and you have a car hardly able to fit the golf clubs. Unless they actually go for the April fools 2 seater Lexus Mini wink

  5. Yeah, very good point about the lack of space available with the hybrids. Considering that, I wonder if you’d even have a trunk if the hybrid was the size of a 1-series.

    (I fell for that Prius-Lexus pretty bad when I spotted it on the Club Lexus homepage. I had written a full post before I clued in that it was a fake.) wink