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GreenCarReports: 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show Coverage Page 3

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The first of these has already been shown; it's the uber-cute Renault Kangoo BeBop ZE.

Lexus LF-Ch Compact Hybrid Concept

Lexus LF-Ch Compact Hybrid Concept

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Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept

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TOYOTA

While we don't expect anything particularly shocking or radical, the Toyota and Lexus stand will offer its share of green vehicles. Hardly surprising, they will all be variations of hybrid cars.

Toyota itself will unveil the final version of its Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, which swaps out the nickel-metal-hydride battery pack used in the standard 2010 Toyota Prius for a higher-energy lithium-ion pack.

The rollout plans for the Prius Plug-In are very modest, with only a few hundred vehicles globally to be distributed to fleets in Japan, Europe, and the US starting at the end of 2009. No date has been set for sales to actual retail buyers.

Toyota will also show the Auris Hybrid, essentially a hybrid version of what used to be the hatchback model of the Toyota Corolla. It will go into production at Toyota's UK plant next year.

Lexus will show a dedicated hybrid hatchback concept called the LF-Ch, which may be a hatchback variation of the new 2010 Lexus HS250h four-door sedan just now reaching US dealers.

Hatchbacks are more popular in Europe for smaller cars than sedans, so replacing the HS250h with a five-door hatch--solely in hybrid form, without a gasoline-only equivalent--makes sense. As of this year, Lexus is going hybrid-only in Britain for most of its lines, dropping the gasoline variants.

Volkswagen Plug In Coming

Volkswagen Plug In Coming

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VOLKSWAGEN

Even stalwart diesel supporter VW, makers of the eagerly awaited 2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI, is putting its toes in the electric-car pond.

Ignoring images of electrocution prompted by that metaphor, Volkswagen may turn its Frankfurt electric-car concept into reality.

More recently, a VW executive said recently that its Up micro-car range will include an all-electric version. More to come on this one, too.

Frankfurt

Frankfurt

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2009 Frankfurt Auto Show: Stay Updated

Frankfurt's where German automakers will launch their biggest guns and best artillery, including several high-profile green concept cars. (Automakers from other, lesser countries may also make a few trivial, far less important announcements. Ahem.)

The intrepid editor-in-chief of High Gear Media, aka our chief masochist Marty Padgett, will be there to bring us all the latest news.

Subscribe to our High Gear Media RSS feed on your browser or by email--or, get RSS feeds for TheCarConnection, MotorAuthority and GreenCarReports separately.

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