TOKYO Several automakers are trying to outdo the industry's leading hybrid, the Toyota Prius, with cheaper new models. Now Toyota may be doing the same thing.
Toyota plans to launch a hybrid that is cheaper and more fuel-efficient than the Prius as early as 2011, a Japanese newspaper reported.
The new hybrid would be priced around ¥1.5 million (about $15,650) and would get about 94 mpg, the Yomiuri newspaper said Aug. 13, without saying how it got the information.
The car will share some parts with Toyota's Yaris compact, the report said. It will be sold in the United States, Japan and Europe. The third-generation Prius gets about 89 mpg, under Japanese certification rules. (Under U.S. ratings, it gets 50 mpg combined city and highway.)
Toyota spokeswoman Yoshie Matsuura said she could not discuss future product plans. But Toyota has been known to be studying a small hybrid to compete with Honda Motor Co.'s plans for a hybrid version of the Fit.