Toyota plans to launch large hybrid SUVs in 2016 - Nikkei

Reuters

Nov 1(Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp plans to rollout hybrid versions of its large sport utility vehicles from2016 to prepare for tougher environmental regulations, theNikkei reported, quoting sources.

The automaker intends to develop hybrid systems capable ofpowering such big vehicles, the newspaper reported.

Toyota plans to add a hybrid version of the Land Cruiser SUVto the line-up and introduce such versions of its internationalmultipurpose vehicles, such as the Fortuner, designed foremerging markets, the business daily reported.

Toyota, which debuted its first mass-produced hybrid car,the Prius, in 1997, now offers about 20 hybrid models, mostlypassenger cars, according to the Nikkei.

The company has sold more than 5 million hybrid carsglobally so far, the newspaper said.

Toyota's hybrid cars such as the Crown are 20-30 percentmore fuel-efficient than non-hybrid models, the Nikkei said.

Improving mileage has become a key issue for automakers asthe United States and other countries tighten environmentalrules, the newspaper said.

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