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by Michael Hines
Think Toyota can't build good-looking cars? There's hope for the future.
The world's top automaker is working hard to brand its hybrid cars as both fuel-efficient and eye-catching. Toyota has achieved wild success and critical acclaim with its groundbreaking Prius hybrid. The Prius showed the world that eco-friendly cars could be both practical and reasonably priced. The Prius was a winner everywhere except in the looks department. Thankfully Toyota understands this and has been developing concepts that are both green and easy on the eyes.
Word on the street is that the FT-HS could be the spiritual successor to the Supra. Toyota's conceptual sportscar is designed to compete with the Nissan 370Z and would boast a 400hp hybrid engine. Word on the other side of the street is that the FT-HS' fate is tied to the success of the Toyota GT 86/Scion FR-S.
It's a darn shame that Toyota decided to put the A-Bat on the shelf indefinitely. The A-Bat had Hybrid Synergy Drive, a four-cylinder engine and a bed that could be extended from four to eight feet. Here's hoping that Toyota revives the A-Bat sometime soon as the world could really use a stylish and uber fuel-efficient pickup.
The future of the Prius is looking slightly sexier thanks to the recently unveiled NS4. The NS4 is lighter than the Prius and would have a longer all-electric range coupled with a shorter charge time. The NS4 is crammed with cutting-edge technology including a futuristic pre-collision system, adaptive beam headlights, and a blind spot monitoring system. While the NS4 may never make it out of the gate don't be shocked if a few of its features make it onto future Prii.
Even if none of these concepts ever become reality this custom Prius still proves that there's hope for the future. Elvis Haggbom and Kenny Kyrk are the masterminds behind this creation which features a Volvo XC90 body kit, 20-inch wheels and a 4,400-watt sound system. Oh, and inside there's 15 LCD screens and a tablet with WiFi.