Toyota unveils new hybrid car FT-CH

Toyota is targeting younger buyers with its newly unveiled hybrid concept car, the FT-CH.

Shorter than the firm's best-selling Prius by 22 inches, the FT-CH is lighter and more fuel efficient.

The car, inspired by the retro style of early video games popular during the 1980s, was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

There is no official schedule to put it on sale for the public as the FT-CH is a concept vehicle and the company confirmed plans to put future hybrids under the Prius name to expand the brand into a family of hybrid vehicles.

Toyota said the car emphasises its plan to sell a wider range of hybrids, battery-electric and fuel-cell vehicles over the coming years.

It added that aims of launching eight new models in the next few years could put it on track to selling a million hybrids a year globally in the early part of this decade.

The company also plans to offer plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars starting in model-year 2012 and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in 2015 in its global markets.

Recently, Toyota launched a global demonstration program of its plug-in hybrid technology involving 600 Prius plug-ins.

Beginning early this year, around 150 plug-in Priuses with lithium-ion batteries - as opposed to the heavier nickel-metal hydride batteries currently fitted in hybrids - are being sent to the US for testing and demonstration.

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