Mike Stevens | Feb 9, 2010

A NEW REPORT out of Europe shows that Toyota has not been deflected by recent problems and continues to work at pressing the boundaries in auto design and technologies.

Although saddled with the recall of more than eight million vehicles world-wide (and clearly stinging from the bad press), renderings have surfaced today of a new patent application from Toyota, or so French website L'Automobile would have us believe.

The design of the retro-futuristic concept suggests a new Toyota hybrid or all-electric vehicle is under consideration.

The short and compact front-end, the absence of any major air intakes and the covered-over look of the wheels - along with Toyota's general leaning toward hybrid concepts - all point to a hybrid or electric setup.

toyota-hybrid-concept_2011_01

The general style of the unnamed concept seems to be based on the Toyota 1/X concept, bringing more real-world lines to the otherwise awkward looking 1/X.

Only last month, Toyota unveiled the FT-CH hybrid concept at the Detroit Auto Show, inspired - according to Toyota - by the video games of the early 1980s.

In November last year, Toyota confirmed it is developing hybrid systems that draw power from more powerful lithium batteries rather than the current nickel metal hydride cells.

According to L'Automobile, the new concept could debut at next month's Geneva Motor Show, possibly wearing a Lexus badge.

For now, keep those grains of salt handy.

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