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Detroit 2011: New Toyota Prius
Prius sales mirror petrol prices and they’re rising. Looks like a good time to expand the line with two all-new Priuses (plus the Plug-in Prius).
All of the new Prius family will be full new models, not rebadges of existing hybrids (eg Camry Hybrid etc). Today Toyota showed us the bigger and smaller siblings to the current car.
Prius V is a five-seater MPV only a few mm longer than Prius but with 60 per cent more boot. It still has Prius-type aerodynamics but is just a couple of mpg worse. It comes complete with new multimedia - called Entune - including apps and voice recognition. Expect it to go on sale in the summer.
A smaller car, Prius C concept, is the one you see above. It’s the same size as the Honda Insight and aimed at young couples. Toyota claims Prius C ‘will be fun to drive’, and boast the best economy of any hybrid except plug-ins. Roomy cabin.
The Prius C concept was designed at Toyota’s European studio in Nice. The exterior is quite close to production, but the interior is pure fantasy, which is a shame. Engine and CVT transmission/motor system will be similar principle to the bigger Prius, but the engine is smaller than a 1.8. Prius C launch is planned for the first half of 2012.