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Prius V

Prius V interior

Prius C
After selling over one million Prius vehicles, Toyota expands the line

The hybrid that everyone loves to hate is getting a companion model. While the Prius MPV has been rumored for quite some time, Toyota only recently began to drop hints that the larger model was on the way. Today, however, Toyota made it official.

The current Prius started out as a sedan, but transitioned to a hatchback in its second generation. The new model, the Prius V (the “V” stands for versatility), brings a bit more utility to the Prius platform with a more upright rear hatch and a higher roof for 50 percent greater cargo volume.

“This is no ordinary family.  It’s a modern family with a Prius for everyone,” said Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager.  “The Prius v is an all-new dedicated hybrid vehicle, and all future Prius family members will be as well.  They will all share common Prius attributes but will be unique, with a special appeal to different buyers.”

When it comes to the powertrain, there aren't any surprises. The Prius V still uses the same 1.8-liter gasoline engine found in its smaller sibling along with the same Synergy Hybrid Drive.

Fuel economy for Toyota’s latest hybrid gets an impressive 42 mpg in the city, and 38 mpg on the highway (40 mpg combined). For comparison, the standard Prius is rated at 51/48 (50 mpg combined).

The Prius MPV will be going toe-to-toe with Ford’s new C-MAX Hybrid. Ford hasn’t released official EPA numbers for the vehicle yet, but the company does say that it will get better fuel economy than the Fusion Hybrid that is rated at 42/36. So it’s highly likely that Ford’s hybrid will get even better fuel economy than the Prius V.

The Prius V will be available to purchase later this summer.

Toyota also unveiled a Prius C, a vehicle that is smaller than the standard hatchback. It is aimed at young adults and will get better fuel economy than the current's Prius' already impressive 50 mpg combined. The vehicle will debut in production form around this time next year.

If the Prius C looks familiar to you, it's because Toyota debuted a similar hybrid concept, the FT-CH, last year at the Detroit Auto Show. The Prius C is a further refinement of that design.

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By SSDMaster on 1/10/2011 1:51:02 PM , Rating: 2
Why not a diesel hybrid? Is there any reason why this wouldn't be better? There has to be a reason or they would have done it already, right?

RE: Diesel
By xprojected on 1/10/2011 4:00:36 PM , Rating: 2
Cost. Diesel and hybrid powertrains each already add thousands of dollars to a car's price. Figure $10k over a base car (plus the additional testing needed), and the benefit isn't worth it to most.

RE: Diesel
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 1/11/2011 1:21:06 PM , Rating: 2
Are there any diesels in production that are using start/stop technology, like the gas engines in hybrids? I think you might lose a lot of efficiency from the diesel with constant cold restarts. I don't know if this is true, but just a thought.

RE: Diesel
By chunkymonster on 1/18/2011 12:18:19 AM , Rating: 2
While I agree that cost is a factor while initially producing diesel electric hybrids. Cost goes away with the economies of scale. The current run of 5th generation gas electric hybrids have proven that.

Fact is, a currently available modern clean diesel can get 50+ miles per gallon. Road test of pre-production diesel electric hybrids have shown to get 70+ miles per gallon.

In these times, with people willing to pay $50K for a Chevy Volt, I fail to believe that cost would stop someone from buying a diesel electric hybrid that gets 70+ miles per gallon.

Cost is not the reason for no diesel electric hybrids.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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