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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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