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2010 Toyota Prius
Toyota is looking to leverage the Prius name

Certainly the most popular hybrid car on the road is the Toyota Prius. Toyota has made no secret of the fact that it wants to have a full line of hybrid cars that rely on the Prius name. So far, the only car Toyota has with the Prius name is the one we are all familiar with.

The 2010 Prius hatchback is the car DailyTech spent a week with earlier this month. Toyota is now reportedly getting ready to launch a new wagon or SUV using the Prius name. Toyota doesn't offer traditional wagons in the U.S., but Edmunds reports that the automaker does have wagons in Japan that could act as the underpinnings for a Prius hybrid wagon.

A Prius SUV would be no stretch either. Toyota has the hybrid Lexus RX 400h in its line and has the small RAV4 SUV in America that could be used for a hybrid platform.

According to reports, the battery pack that the new SUV will utilize will be lithium-ion. Toyota has said in the past that it felt lithium-ion batteries were not yet cheap enough or ready for retail use in hybrid vehicles.

Lithium-ion batteries are reportedly in the works for the Prius through a program with Panasonic and new battery packs that meet Toyota's price requirements may be available and waiting for a new vehicle

The new batteries may be needed for the increased power needs of a larger, heavier SUV or wagon pushing Toyota to rethink its position on lithium-ion batteries. At this point, Toyota has made nothing official and these reports originate from a Japanese newspaper, Yomiuri.

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RE: Getting there...
By Spivonious on 11/16/2009 3:44:27 PM , Rating: 3
The Prius was introduced to the U.S. in 2001, according to Wikipedia. If they haven't gotten 80k on them in almost 9 years, then people aren't driving them enough.

RE: Getting there...
By Alexstarfire on 11/16/2009 4:45:41 PM , Rating: 2
And if you go back to Japan they were introduced in 1998. Plenty of time and miles put on the Prius and they hold up very well. People just don't care to look up this kind of information.

RE: Getting there...
By Nfarce on 11/16/2009 7:33:22 PM , Rating: 2
The Prius was introduced to the U.S. in 2001, according to Wikipedia. If they haven't gotten 80k on them in almost 9 years, then people aren't driving them enough.

True, but that was the 1st generation Prius which had very limited interior room due to battery placement, and hence, was not a successful sales success story. The 2nd generation, introduced in 2004 and the one we are all more familiar with seeing, was really the first success story of the genre.

In short, in 2001 a whopping 15,000 units were sold. In 2004 that number more than tripled to over 50,000 sold in said year. In 2008 nearly 160,000 were sold. So, when you look at the bigger picture, the vast majority of Priuses on the roads are no more than four years old. Besides, I see far more Priuses in metro areas than on the highways - and I do a lot of highway driving.

RE: Getting there...
By Spivonious on 11/17/2009 3:18:15 PM , Rating: 2
Hybrids make no sense for highway driving. You see the big mileage gains in city driving.

I'd focus on the turbo diesels for highway driving. Jetta TDI Wagon gets 30/41mpg. In practice it does better, with some people even getting close to 60mpg highway if they're trying. Just think about that. Assuming a 15 gallon tank, you could drive for 900 miles on one tank of gas.

RE: Getting there...
By Alexstarfire on 11/18/2009 1:38:27 AM , Rating: 2
Why not just have both? BTW, you can get over 60 MPG on the highway in a Prius if you try. I think if you combined both you'd get even higher highway and city mileage. Not sure what the cost of the car would be though.

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