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Toyota rolling out new Camry and Prius hybrids

Toyota plans to offer hybrids priced from the mid-$20,000s all the way to the mid-$50,000s.

The new Camry Hybrid being launched next week will be closely followed on to the showroom floors by a facelifted Prius and a Yaris-sized Prius C at the end of March.

In the second half of this year, Toyota will add a Prius v wagon. Toyota sales and marketing director Matthew Callachor says they are expanding their range of hybrids. "By the middle of this year, we will be offering hybrids priced from around the mid-$20,000s all the way to the mid-$50,000s," he says.

"Greater affordability, familiarity and sales will help us achieve real market acceptance. "At the moment, hybrids are bought mainly by innovators and early adopters. They are turned on by technology, fuel and the environment."

He says most of these innovators and early adopters are aged under 35 as they have a better understanding of hybrid technology. "They are more likely to believe it is worth paying a premium for hybrid," he says.

"They are more likely to trust hybrid technology and they certainly understand that hybrids are better for the environment than diesel cars."

Callachor says the novelty of hybrids had worn off now that the company had sold more than 3.5m hybrids worldwide.

"And many of the world's major manufacturers, including Holden, are promising hybrids," he says. "We welcome that development.

"From the earliest days, Toyota has actively encouraged all carmakers to embrace hybrid technology - and we have licensed our technology to several other companies."

Callachor says Toyota is also introducing its hybrids to motorsport with a return to Le Mans this year with a pair of new hybrid race cars and the first hybrid vehicles to enter the FIA World Endurance Championship.

"Motorsport improves the breed and our target this year is to demonstrate the performance level of these cars, and particularly the hybrid powertrain."