Home2010 Detroit Auto Show
Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2010 North American Auto Show in Detroit.
Toyota FT-CH
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What is it? The FT-CH is a small hybrid concept car that was styled in Europe. It is smaller and more affordable hybrid than the Prius, but without sacrificing interior space. The FT-CH is almost two feet shorter than a Prius, but its wheelbase is only six inches shorter. Toyota claims the FT-CH will lose only 3 inches in interior space in comparison with the Prius. Toyota did not release any specifications about the powertrain, but it will likely be a conventional full-hybrid with a smaller engine than the new Prius.

What is new or notable? While Toyota's hybrids have been getting steadily bigger for the past several years, this is the first time the company has developed a smaller hybrid designed to be more affordable for a younger audience.

CR's take: The FT-CH shows Toyota is feeling the pressure to compete with Hondas cheaper Insight hybrid. As a full-hybrid, the FT-CH could compete favorably with the Insight if Toyota can avoid the pinched rear seat room and access of the Insight.

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