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Prius MPV teaser  (Source: Toyota)

Prius MPV under heavy camouflage  (Source: Auto Spies)
Toyota is looking to expand its Prius lineup

Rumors of an MPV or minivan based on Toyota's popular Prius have been swirling around for quite some time. Given that current 5-seat Prius is capable of 50 mpg, it's seems reasonable to think that a slightly larger vehicle with additional seating/cargo capacity would be welcome in the marketplace (with a slight hit to overall fuel economy).

Today, Edmunds Inside Line has some of the first spy photos of the MPV counterpart to the Prius hatchback. According to the publication, the vehicle will seat seven passengers and will be similar in size to such vehicles as the Mazda 5 and the Kia Rondo. The Mazda 5 in particular is quite popular with small families as it is closer in size to the original Chrysler minivans that debuted in the mid-80s instead of the gargantuan Siennas, Odysseys, and Caravans prowling the streets today.

Given that the MPV will share much in common with the standard Prius, we expect to see the same 1.8-liter gasoline engine used and a new lithium-ion battery pack for added power and range (while at the same time saving weight). It shouldn't be too difficult for the MPV to achieve greater than 40 mpg combined (city/highway), but we'll just have to wait for the final EPA numbers to come in when the vehicle is released next year.

When the Prius MPV does hit U.S. streets, it will likely be joined by a similar offering from General Motors: the Chevrolet Volt MPV5. The "crossover" variant of the standard Volt sedan seats five people and can travel up to 35 miles on battery power alone.

Updated 10/11/2010

Toyota has just posted a teaser shot of it upcoming Prius MPV on its Facebook page.


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RE: one thing...
By Pirks on 10/4/2010 6:02:22 PM , Rating: 3
and the precious metal in these batteries comes largely from communist china
Communism goes away sooner or later, this is not a problem. Besides, Chinese kind of communism is very effective economically, just look at their supedduper highspeed rail, this is impossible to build in any Western democracy due to land owner issues. Also, Augusto Pinochet killed a few commies here and there and suppressed democracy a little to get his economy back on track (while Russians haven't done similar Pinochet-style democracy suppression in 1917 and got destroyed/derailed forever because of that). So your "communist China" bullcrap is funny old view from some old Cold War era American or something. So outdated...
this is better than oil because it comes from a more politically-correct source
This argument is correct however it's worded not quite right. Proper way to say this is like that: oil is worse because it comes from the countries sponsoring Islam which turned out to be pretty evil enemy of the Western democracies, hence all the oil dependency must be severed ASAP in order to cut funding of Islam.
Nah, hydrogen is a waste of time and effort, noone is going to invest trillions of dollars into the expensive hydrogen infrastructure when one can just upgrade the existing electric power grid and build a few modern nuclear plants to get the same effect, besides batteries are way cheaper than fuel cells and are proven technology while fuel cells are some brain fart even today... who knows whether or not they will pan out well, or not... too many unknowns for their uberhigh price (cells themselves and infrastructure taken together)
more electric cars ultimately also mean more coal/nuclear powerplants, no?
No. Remove coal, and leave nuclear. Now you got the correct answer that is also absolutely clean eco-wise.

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