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PHOTO CAPTION: Honda revives its insight model, this time with a five-passenger, five door sedan it claims will get 70 mpg.

New Honda Insight Hybrid Won't Hurt Prius Sales, Toyota Says

Demand for the Prius, the top-selling hybrid, outstripped production increases at Toyota's plants in Japan this year as gasoline prices topped $4 gallon in the U.S. Pictured is recently released photo of Honda Insight, due out in the Spring of 2009.

Published: 19-Sep-2008

Torrance, CA -- Toyota Motor Corp. said plans announced last month by Honda Motor Co. for an inexpensive gasoline-electric vehicle aren't a threat because U.S. demand for Toyota's fuel-saving Prius hybrid exceeds supply.

"There's plenty of room for both of us to sell probably whatever we can produce," Jim Lentz, president of Toyota's U.S. sales unit, said in an interview in Detroit yesterday.

Demand for the Prius, the top-selling hybrid, outstripped production increases at Toyota's plants in Japan this year as gasoline prices topped $4 gallon in the U.S. Toyota has said it wants to halve the cost of Prius' motors, batteries and other unique parts and by 2010 supply battery packs for a million vehicles annually.

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This concept can be driven for about 100 km on battery power alone before its four-cylinder 1.6-litre Flexifuel engine is required.

The conversion is part of a two-year research project sponsored by the National Rural Cooperative's Research Association's Cooperative Research Network. Photo courtesy of Athens Banner-Herald.

The plug-in variant would ditch the concept Up!'s hatchback profile for a more traditional sedan configuration, and offer 100 mpg fuel efficiency.

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