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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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I wanna 4WD
By boeush on 11/16/2009 9:58:36 PM , Rating: 2
Ever since the 1st-gen Prius came out, I've been wondering why it should take so long to make a four wheel drive hybrid. Just put another electric motor on back axle: presto, 4WD! You already got your big battery, and your motor/generator up front; an extra electric motor isn't much in terms of size or weight or complexity, yet it plus a couple of wires gives you 4WD capability without any complications from mechanical trans-axle/differential solutions.

What I'd really like, is a car that has the form factor and 4WD capabilities (and road clearance!) of a Subaru Outback, in combination with the Hybrid Synergy Drive under the hood. Am I the only one out there wanting something like that???

By the way, one of the things that really irks me about my current 2nd-gen Prius, is its low road clearance. Pulling in/out of steeply banked driveways, I frequently end up scraping the front bumper on the road, even when I'm the only person in the car and there's no luggage. Parking in places where the curb is just a little too high, one also risks damaging the front bumper: due to the car's body shape, you can't see exactly where it is from the driver's seat. Give me an Outback + HSD, and I'm a happy camper!

RE: I wanna 4WD
By Alexstarfire on 11/17/2009 1:44:20 AM , Rating: 2
Are you sure you aren't confusing the front bumper with the plastic piece that attaches to the bottom of the bumper? I don't really give a crap if I scrape that little piece of plastic.

RE: I wanna 4WD
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/17/2009 12:26:51 PM , Rating: 2
Even better, hub motors. Some auto manufacturers have played around with that idea. 4 motors, one in each wheel hub that drive the one wheel, and act as brakes/regen brakes. More sprung weight, but hybrids will never be performance cars.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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