We first saw Toyota's Auris Hybrid as a concept at last year's Frankfurt motor show, but the production version -- which is a dead ringer for the supposed "show car" -- will be unveiled at the 2010 Geneva motor show.
Built upon Toyota's European subcompact (which shares some roots with the Corolla), the Auris Hybrid uses the same powertrain found in the renowned Prius. A 1.8-liter I-4 is mated to Toyota's "Hybrid Synergy Drive" system, where it's paired with a 80-hp electric motor through an electrically variable transmission. The concept was fitted with low rolling resistance tires, smoothed underbody panels, and a lower ride height, all of which will likely carry over to the final product.
Toyota plans on selling the Auris Hybrid at a lower price point than the Prius, which may help the automaker offer its green technology to a wider range of customers. Although there are presently no plans on bringing the Auris Hybrid to North America, Toyota has pledged to incorporate its hybrid system into its entire lineup over the next decade -- so a gas-electric Corolla or Matrix isn't as farfetched as you may think.
Stay with Automobile Magazine for all the latest on the Auris Hybrid, along with the other new vehicles introduced at the 2010 Geneva motor show.