Volkswagen predicts 'renaissance' for embattled diesel cars

Toyota sounds the death knell for diesel: Japanese giant to stop selling cars powered by the fuel in Britain and Europe by end of the year

Japanese auto giant Toyota is to focus on more environmentally sustainable vehicles, led by self-charging hybrid electric cars, thereby becoming the first mainstream auto brand to take immediate action away from diesel, which includes all current and future generation passenger cars. "We will not develop new diesel technology for passenger cars, we'll continue to focus on hybrid" vehicles, he added.

The manufacturer is to boost further sales of petrol-electric hybrid cars which already account for almost half (45 per cent) of sales in the United Kingdom previous year, rising to 48 per cent in January. Since then, HEV sales have substantially exceeded those of our diesels.

Last year, nearly 15% of the brand's cars sold in Europe were diesel-powered, while in 2012 their share was 30%. Registrations have become increasingly weighted towards hybrids since 2015, when sales were split evenly between hybrids and diesels.

For this reason, Toyota has made a decision to offer its core models with a choice of two hybrid powertrains; one providing the traditional benefits of fuel efficiency and a relaxing drive, the second building on these strengths with greater power and more dynamic driving characteristics.

The new 2.0-liter hybrid engine builds on the 1.8-liter's competencies and takes advantage of Toyota's TNGA architecture that also underpins the new Camry and Prius.

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Volkswagen, whose global emissions-cheating scandal has put the future of diesel engines in doubt, expects consumers to return to the embattled technology - and soon. The diesel option that's offered in Europe appears to be done for.

The announcement was made on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show. It will slowly phase out the diesel models from its lineup over the course of this year.

An optional hybrid powertrain shared with the Prius will give people the choice of an understated petrol-electric model without carrying baggage attached to the brand's eco-champion. About 41 percent of cars sold through its European branch were hybrid models, while diesel represented "less than" 10 percent.

Toyota will continue to offer diesel engines in commercial vehicles (Hilux, Proace and Land Cruiser) to meet customer needs.

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