Toyota Planning High-Performance Hybrids

Toyota’s got the fuel efficiency part of the hybrid equation down, and now it’s trying to make them sporty too.

Speaking at the Frankfurt Auto Show, Dr Johan Van Zyl, president and CEO of Toyota Europe, said that Toyota is working to make hybrids more attractive to more people. What customers want, he said, are high-performance models.

“It is exactly that kind of feedback that has made us realise there is an opportunity to introduce a higher performance hybrid powertrain. I can announce today that in future it is our ambition to provide our core models with a choice of two hybrid powertrains,” Van Zyl said.

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What this means is hybrid models would have one powertrain option to deliver maximum economy, but that some Toyotas would also have a second powertrain option that was aimed at drivers who want something a little more sporting than the standard offerings.

“One will provide the traditional benefits of efficiency and fuel economy, like in our current offer. The second will build on this and add more power and a more dynamic driving character”, Van Zyl said.

It’s that desire for performance that inspired the C-HR Hy-Power concept, also revealed in Frankfurt. That show car offers a powertrain that Toyota says will offer more power than the 122 horsepower of the current C-HR hybrid. How much more, Toyota isn’t saying, at least not until early next year. Forty percent of Toyota’s sales in Europe are now hybrids, and the brand would like to boost that to 50 percent by 2020. The take rate for the hybrid version of the new C-HR is nearly 80 percent.

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