The Japanese car manufacturer Toyota has canceled all plans of coming out with a diesel hybrid variant of the Prius in the near future. A spokesperson for the carmaker said that, although other brands are going toward the diesel hybrids at the present time, the idea is still quite far for Toyota.
Having set a high standard with the latest 1.8-liter gasoline hybrid Prius, Toyota sees plug-in technology as the future of a truly ecological product.
Diesel is not such a big thing with Toyota even when it has an agreement with Isuzu two years ago to create a new aluminum block 1.6-liter diesel powerplant which could be utilized for a diesel hybrid Prius.
Production of that powerplant is still three years away at the soonest. The ultimate issue according to a company spokesperson is cost.
Because the mass marketing of diesel hybrids require cleaner exhausts that consequently requires development. A combination of clean emissions technology and hybrid system cost will result in a powertrain is just to expensive at this stage.
So it will take quite some time before Toyota can really come up with a diesel hybrid that's just priced right. Before the year ends, Toyota will be coming out with a plug-in hybrid variant of the new Prius powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. The model will hit UK markets next year.