Please remove duplicate log ins As part of an upgrade to PistonHeads, we need you to go to the Classifieds Preferences page and choose your unique login by 31st of October

Hide Do it now
Tuesday 14th February 2006


NEW TOYOTA CELICA TO BE HYBRID

But it won't arrive before 2008

Toyota CS+S concept
Toyota CS+S concept
The Toyota Celica is on its way out -- but then it's coming back in a brand new guise. But don't hold your breath, because it's not likely to appear until 2008.

According to a report in this week's Autocar, the Japanese car giant, which recently overtook GM as the world's biggest carmaker, is developing a mid-engined, 4WD hybrid car with four seats to replace both the MR2 and Celica. Both cars are nearing the end of their lives and will be withdrawn by mid-2006.

It could be called a Celica -- that's yet to be determined -- and it will draw inspiration from the CS+S concept shown in Tokyo in 2003 -- see pic. However, it leaves Toyota without a high-performance motor for the time being.

A radical departure for a sports car, the machine could house a power train similar to that of the Toyota Yaris T-Sport, using a 105bhp petrol engine, as does the Prius hybrid. It'll rev to 7,000rpm though, which, since the engine's a VVT-i, suggests that the power will mostly be found at the top end of the rev range.

Behind the engine will be a continuously variable transmission with artificial steps to make it a more familiar experience. But there'll also be a two electric motors, one for each pair of wheels, that'll kick in during urban excursions, and when extra power is called for. For example, the Prius's motors develop some 400lb-ft of torque, which is not to be sniffed at.

Other packaging firsts include a folding metal roof, the first in a mid-engined car. The delay is down to a shortage of hybrid drive-trains within Toyota, which is struggling to fulfil demand for them as it is.

Sounds like one to watch...

Want more PH news like this daily - then signup for the PH newsletter here!