Dan Read12 January 2010

Meet the baby Prius

Funky FT-CH concept to spearhead Toyota’s hybrid charge

Toyota FT-CH concept

Over in Motown, Toyota is getting groovy. This is the FT-CH concept - that's FT for ‘future Toyota' and CH for ‘compact hybrid'. In essence, it's a smaller version of the Prius, aimed at a much more fashionable audience.
 
It's about the size of a Yaris - nearly two feet shorter than the Prius and just an inch narrower. So it's got the footprint of a snazzy trainer, which means it's the right size for zapping around town and jostling rickshaws for roadspace.
 
Like the Prius, it's a full hybrid, one of eight that Toyota plans to launch over the next few years (it has lofty plans to sell over a million of them ever year). The idea is to let the hippies waft around righteously in their Priuses, while yoofy sorts choose the CH.

Toyota says it's aimed at a ‘less affluent' buyer, which is good news for people whose usual experience of cars involves some sort of theft. They might now be able to buy one.
 
The styling is apparently inspired by the 8-bit generation, which has something to do with the days when Nintendo made the NES and the Super Mario Brothers were just pixilated blobs. Or 1989, to you and us.
 
Strangely, that retro design theme has been ignored on the inside, where there's no sign of a cassette deck or some slots to store your coins.

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