By on January 11, 2010

french anti-AGW baby hybrid Prius (courtesy auto blog)

Is the Toyota FT-CH the first car deliberately designed to be a troll? It combines all the trigger elements that have kept servers warm since teh interwebs tubes were first hooked up: French, Low-CO, anti-Global Warming, Hybrid, Prius, Toyota, and Questionable Styling. Did I miss something?

Toyota’s FT-CH concept raises more questions than it was expected to answer. The talk about creating brand extensions to the Prius goes back some two years, with lots of little hints about a city coupe or wagon/MPV. But this compact four door hybrid seems a little odd as the potential first extension. I’m guessing Toyota NA is going to pass on it, and that its intended market, if it gets built, is everywhere but NA. The Prius has not exactly set Europe on fire, partly because it’s a little long. That explains why Toyota has stuffed the Prius’ whole hybrid drive train into the Golf-sized Auris hatch.

This FT-CH is some 22 inches shorter than the Prius. And the fact that it was designed in France in what is called “8 bit” style (recalling nostalgia for old 8-bit video games) is a further indication of its (possible) intended market. And there’s more mystery; this car bears more than a passing resemblance to the Lexus LF-CH compact concept from last year. So color me skeptical; I think Toyota NA will pass, hoping the mother ship comes up with something a bit more Ameri-centric. But I wouldn’t be surprised if this little yellow troll generates a bit of buzz and speculation.

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13 Comments on “Ultimate Web Troll Alert: Weird French Hybrid Anti-Global-Warming Baby Prius...”

  • avatar

    Leave it to me to like it! What a freak I am.
    According to most people, there are only 2 kinds of new car designs today – derivative or outrageously ugly. And get those kids off of my lawn.

  • avatar

    I think the weird headlamps and wheelcovers are much like the Granite’s suicide doors… they won’t be in the production model.  Just clean up those two aspects of the concept and I think you’re left with a pretty good-looking small car.  If it’s cheap enough and gets the rumored (60+mpg) fuel economy, it might sell decently just as it is.  In fact, in black, the weird headlamps wouldn’t be as noticeable just as it is.

  • avatar
    Seth L

    Just give us the iQ already.

  • avatar

                    The population of car buyers nostalgic for 8 bit video games is undoubtedly enormous.

  • avatar

    It’s still lacking a welded differential:

  • avatar

    I love it. Especially the color. It’s drab here in the O.C. where 99% of cars are black, white or silver. (The wheels won’t be on the production model)

  • avatar

    It looks like a swatch. But kind of a cute one. Anyway, I like French (although I prefer Peugeot to Citroen. It’s kinda weird that they’re now one company. As if Chevy and Ford got married. [“On a clear night you can hear the Fords rust” –chevyman hat]).

  • avatar

    With that hood design, the French have taken uneven panel gaps to a whole new level.

  • avatar

    That “Mazda 3-ish” c-pillar has always been a turn-off to me. In that case, the Aveo concept has got it right.

  • avatar

    Having played with an Atari 2600 as a kid… don’t get the 8-bit design in it. If we considerthe NES and Mario Bros neither.

  • avatar

    Is a low CO2, anti-global warming  French car one that emits fewer greenhouse gasses when set on fire?

  • avatar

    The Prius has not exactly set Europe on fire, partly because it’s a little long
    Or could it be that it is too expensive for such a small car ? It costs around 27,000 € and for that money you can buy bigger cars (or ones with a slightly different image: ie a base 3 series catalog price is 26,000 €). And for that amount of money you can buy two logan mpv (a 7 seater…) .

    Moreover Europe is addicted to diesel, which returns more or less the same mileage for less money. A Citroen C4 with a nice diesel engine would cost you 15,000 €…

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