Toyota Premieres Euro-Styled FT-CH Concept Model at Detroit, Could Spawn a Dedicated Compact Hybrid Model

The 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit saw Toyota dropping the curtains on the FT-CH, a conceptual proposal for a dedicated compact hybrid model that slots right under the Prius. Styled at Toyota's European Design and Development (ED²) center in Nice, France, the FT-CH is 22 inches shorter in overall length and about an inch narrower than the Prius.

Being more compact in size and lighter in weight than the firm's bread-and-butter hybrid model, means that if the FT-CH were to be produced, it would be even more fuel efficient than the Prius.

"It's a package Toyota dealers and customers have been asking for," said Toyota USA boss Jim Lentz.

While Toyota didn't disclose any specific details about the concept, the Japanese automaker revealed that it plans to sell a million hybrids per year globally, a majority of those in North America, within the next few years.

And to achieve this, Toyota said that it will launch a total of eight all new hybrid models over the next few years. According to the company, these will not include next generation versions of current hybrids but instead, they will be all new dedicated hybrid vehicles, or all new hybrid versions of existing gasoline-engine models.