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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 chunkymonster on 1/17/2011 11:56:05 PM , Rating: 2
Emissions standards is the biggest reason for the lack of diesel in North America. Which is a red herring because modern clean diesel engines get more miles per gallon and produce less greenhouse gases than comparable gasoline engines.

Definite bias in America about diesels, left over from the 1970's.

The oil companies and car companies are also guilty of not developing diesel technology and alternative fuel sources.

Rudolph Diesel built his first engine to run on peanut oil. Part of the brilliance of the diesel design is the fact that the engine can be tweaked to run on various fuel types i.e.; petroleum distilled fuel, bio-diesel, bio-mass based fuels, vegetable oil. Diesel fuel distilled from petroleum, which has become synonymous with the engine, was developed and created after Rudolph Diesel's untimely death.

Bio-diesel, diesel-electric hybrids, and alternative fuel sources are not in the interest of the car and oil companies. Proof exists in the fact that Ford Motor Company developed and sells a diesel Fiesta ECOnetic, in Europe only, that gets 55+/- miles per gallon. When asked if Ford if they would ever bring the fuel sipping Fiesta to America, they said no claiming that there is no market in America for diesel cars.

Well, there may be no diesel car market (something VW would argue with) in America. But you can bet your last dollar that there is a market for an American made car that gets over 50mpg whether it's diesel or not!

I suppose the American car buyer is supposed to be content with the the Volt...

Diesel electric hybrids are being developed for the mostly EU market. Pre-production models got 70+ miles per gallon. Very little chance of ever seeing a diesel electric hybrid made by and American car company, let alone one being sold in the United States; VW or Audi being exceptions.

Jetta TDI, 175K miles, 42mpg average, 530 mile range. The Prius, Volt, and Leaf can suck it.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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