UPDATE 1-Toyota to launch compact hybrid in January -Nikkei

Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:49pm EDT

* New Aqua model to get just under 40 km/l in Japan

* To cost about 300,000 yen less than Prius

* Toyota says cannot comment on product plans (Adds company comment)

TOKYO, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp plans to launch a compact hybrid car in January with listed mileage of just under 40 km/litre (94 mpg), giving it the best fuel economy among gasoline-electric cars, the Nikkei business daily reported on Wednesday.

The vehicle, called the Aqua, will use the same powertrain as Toyota's Prius, the paper said without saying where it got the information. The Prius gets 32 km/litre in Japan.

Toyota said it could not comment on product plans.

The car is likely to sell for around 1.7 million yen($22,000) in Japan, about 300,000 yen less than the Prius, and will target younger drivers and women, the daily added.

The world's biggest automaker, which dominates the hybrid field, has said it would launch about 10 more gasoline-electric models by 2015 and offer a fuel-sipping option across its entire line-up by around 2020.

($1 = 76.655 Japanese Yen) (Reporting by James Topham and Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Joseph Radford)