Toyota Plans Smaller, Cheaper Hybrid It's expected to go on sale in early 2012 By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Dec 25, 2009 5:16 PM CST 11 comments Comments Toyota plans to unveil a smaller hybrid next month. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, file) (Newser) – Toyota will introduce a new hybrid next month that is smaller and more affordable than the Prius, reports the Detroit News. The hybrid-only subcompact is expected to go into production in 2011 and be in US showrooms by early 2012. Toyota, which will offer a peek Jan. 11 at the North American International Auto Show, expects it to be a big seller. Prius currently rules the market: With a starting price of $22,400, about 417,000 had been sold through October. "It'll be interesting to see what they name it," said an analyst at Edmunds.com. "The Prius name has such cachet in the marketplace."