Toyota Motor Corporation has officially unveiled its brand new Aqua hybrid electric compact car to Japanese buyers Monday.

The car manufacturer cited the Aqua in a press release as the world's leading fuel efficient car, bearing a mileage of 35 km per liter on a new testing method close to driving conditions.

Toyota hopes to sell 12,000 units per month in Japan, with retail prices starting at 1.69 million yen.

Dubbed 'Prius C' overseas, the hybrid is set for a debut next year in the U.S. However, the release date and price details are unknown.

Recently revealed as a concept model at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, the Aqua has already floored buyers with over 60,000 pre-orders reportedly placed, according to a report from CNET.

Built for the urban commuter, the Aqua is similar in size though shorter in comparison to the Yaris. The hatchback compact achieves a better fuel efficiency with a smaller and more efficient 1.5-liter engine.

The Aqua is powered by a four-cylinder gasoline engine at 72 horsepower with an electric motor rated at 45 kW, offering a combined output of 73 kW to 100kph in 10.7 seconds. The hybrid uses the Exhaust-Gas Recirculation system to boost efficiency in the Atkinson cycle engine, thereby reducing friction and belt losses. The Aqua will be offered in three grades - L, S and G.

With constant competition from the likes of Honda and other car manufacturers, Toyota is expected to gain an edge over other environmental or conventional vehicles owing to its fuel friendly variant.