Car Culture

Toyota hatches a baby Prius

Toyota launches the FT-CH hybrid concept at the 2010 Detroit auto show.

Toyota FT-CH
Toyota rolled out the FT-CH, a small hybrid concept, during its press conference. Sarah Tew/CNET

DETROIT--With few actual specifications to be had, Toyota showed off a new hybrid concept at the 2010 Detroit auto show, the FT-CH. This small hybrid would come in at a lower price than the Prius, offering an entry-level option for eco-conscious buyers.

The car came out of Toyota's European design center in Nice, France, and employs many typical concept flourishes. The LED headlights are set back from the front fenders in a configuration that would probably not past muster by most countries' regulations. The cabin has a monumental instrument cluster with graphics that look vaguely Klingon.

In a presentation at the auto show, Toyota mostly used the FT-CH to illustrate its hybrid plans. The company said its Synergy hybrid system will be its core powertrain, suggesting it will follow through with an earlier promise to offer hybrid variants of all its cars. Along those lines, Toyota promised eight new hybrids over the next few years, likely to be a mix of hybrid versions of existing cars and completely new models.