The Downshift Episode 30: Toyota Hybrids Invade Paris

By Trevor Dorchies | August 28, 2012
While the average person doesn’t stay awake at night wishing the United States would get the same vehicles offered in Europe, auto enthusiasts have many sleepless nights because of this, and not just because of the crazy exotics. Take the Toyota Aurus, essentially a Corolla hatchback with a hybrid powertrain. Some automakers do offer nearly-identical models in America and Europe but tweak each to fit a country’s rules and regulations. The Prius is sold in both America and Europe but a stiffer suspension setup is used across the pond. So what’s with all the hype surrounding hybrid technology that powers some cars here in the states? Why is diesel so dominant in Europe? In the latest installment of The Downshift, Motor Trend Senior Feature Editor Jonny Lieberman takes to the streets and surrounding serpentine roads of Paris in an array of hybrid Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Why is Lieberman driving around one of the most romantic cities in the world in a hybrid you ask? The vast majority of Europeans prefer diesel-powered vehicles over hybrids, while Americans are almost squarely opposed to that. Since its inception, the Toyota Prius has sold over 1.1 million units stateside but it can’t seem to find that traction in Western Europe. In an attempt to prove hybrids are there if you look hard enough, Lieberman and his band of hybrids take to the roads in and around Paris. While we’re not going to ruin the outcome of the hybrid hunt, we will tell you Lieberman lapped the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium in a Lexus GS Hybrid F Sport. The results may surprise you. Want to know what all of this means? Then check out Lieberman in the latest episode of The Downshift, which airs every Tuesday on YouTube.
Source: YouTube