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Detroit show: Toyota teases new plug-in

Plugging away: Toyota says this NS4 concept car to be shown in Detroit boasts advanced plug-in hybrid technology.

Plug-in hybrid Toyota concept to join upmarket Lexus show car in Detroit

21 Dec 2011

TOYOTA appears set to add to its ever-expanding fleet of hybrid vehicles with a mysterious newcomer at the 2012 North American International Motor Show in January.

The Japanese giant has released a teaser picture showing only a front corner of the concept car – called NS4 – which it says will be an “advanced plug-in hybrid”.

Beyond that, no details have been provided for the vehicle, which will appear on the Toyota stand along with the production version of the Prius C hybrid hatchback that is destined for Australian release in the second quarter of next year.

News of the NS4 comes hard on the heels of a similar teaser campaign for a separate concept car to be shown by Toyota’s prestige arm, Lexus, at the big American motor show.

Two images released thus far of the unnamed Lexus concept – which might also be a hybrid – appear to show a pillarless coupe with a luxurious interior.

8 center imageLeft: Toyota Prius C. Below: Lexus's Detroit concept.

Although the company has confirmed the Lexus show car has been designed at Toyota’s Calty studios in California, there is no word on the origins of the Toyota NS4 which will be revealed on the second day of the show – the day after the Lexus reveal.

If it makes it to market, the NS4 will follow in the wheel tracks of the Prius Plug-In, which is set to go on sale in North America in 2012, before probably arriving in Australia in 2013.

Like the plug-in Prius, the NS4 is likely to have lithium-ion batteries in place of the Prius hatchback’s nickel-metal hydride power storage.

In Australia, Toyota is set to launch at least three new hybrid models in 2012 – the latest locally made Camry Hybrid, Prius C and Prius V people-mover in five- and seven-seat configurations.

All three models use Toyota’s petrol-electric Hybrid Synergy Drive, in line with the current standard Prius, but none of them get a plug-in recharging facility.

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