A Toyota (GB) spokesman said: 'We would love to have the car in the UK, but no timetable for imports has been decided.' However, there is industry speculation that the 1.5-litre engine could find its way into the new Carina, due to go on sale in Britain in January, and the ultra-clean engine could appear in the Carina before the end of the century.
The revolutionary engine achieves almost twice the fuel efficiency of conventional petrol cars - 79.1mpg - and cuts emissions to about a tenth of the amounts set by current pollution regulations. The car switches automatically between the petrol engine and the electric motor, depending on driving conditions. When the car stops the engine switches off automatically and energy is regenerated by converting the vehicle's kinetic energy into electrical energy during deceleration and braking.