Toyota is looking for a more distinctive styling for its hybrids. Currently, you can pick a Toyota Prius out of the crowd easily based on its distinctive styling. The same goes for the Honda Insight. But the Toyota Highlander, Camry, and the Lexus GS 450h and RX 400h are very similar to their conventional counterparts. There may be a distinctive badge, but that's about it.
Given how popular the Prius is and how much some drivers want to make a 'statement' about their environmental concern by buying a hybrid, branding the Toyota hybrid may be a very good move. Some odd styling choices may be in store.
Kim Won, a senior creative designer for Toyota is suggesting little green or blue lights on the sides or hood of a hybrid. Also, they are looking at showing off the hybrid battery pack, or perhaps a more dramatic panel for inside. Also, they are experimenting with unusual air intakes or outlets in order to shout to the world that this is a hybrid vehicle.
The Detroit News
"The hybrid is an iconic statement for Toyota," said Kim. "We will come up with a design that shows a vehicle's hybrid-ness, because a hybrid should have a distinctive look."