Toyota plans to sell 250,000 to 300,000 hybrid cars in the US in 2007, up from 192,000 in 2006.

This means that hybrids will account for a considerable proportion of the automaker’s growth in the country. Toyota is hoping to boost 2007 volume by around 140,000 units to nearly 2.7m, helped by the new Tundra, and the Prius and Camry hybrids, it told the Japanese newswire Nikkei.

Toyota is showing a hybrid sports car concept at the Detroit Show. Called FT-HS, it features a 3.5-litre engine coupled with a hybrid system with a power output of around 400hp. It is capable of zero-to-60 acceleration in around four seconds.

The FT-HS concept was jointly developed by Calty, Toyota’s North American-based, research and design center located in Newport Beach, California, and Toyota’s advanced product strategy group, also in California. The design team was asked to create a mid-priced sports car that integrates ecology and emotion in a concept that addresses the question “What is a suitable sports car for the 21st century?”

Toyota said the FT-HS should appeal to an “emerging buyer who grew up eco-conscious and perceives technology as a necessity, not a luxury”.