In March, Honda unveiled the Small Hybrid Sports concept (above). The big deal with this car is that it would be offered only as a hybrid - every time you see one on the road, you know it's a hybrid car. This is the same realization you get when you see a Prius driving by. There is no diesel or non-hybrid version of the Prius, and this instant identification has helped Toyota sell bunches of the popular car. In a new article about the show-off factor of hybrids, Newsweek calls this "Prius envy." As one person interviewed for the article says, "If I'm driving a hybrid, I want people to know it."

Toyota obviously has a huge lead in this fight, but Honda is working hard on a comeback, Newsweek says (and we've been reporting here for a while), and other automakers are gearing up, too. Toyota, for its part, wants to move the Prius brand even further forward, creating an entire line-up of Prius-badged vehicles.

[Source: Keith Naughton / Newsweek, thanks to Dan K.]