New Prius Models Introduced At Detroit Auto Show
‘A Prius For Everyone,’ Says Toyota
Toyota’s hybrid Prius is by far the most successful gas/electric hybrid car in America, and the world’s largest automaker has been saying for years that the Prius would eventually branch out into multiple models, becoming a kind of sub-brand within Toyota. At this year’s North American International Auto Show, which began on January 10th in Detroit, Toyota made good on its promise, introducing two new Prius production models as well as a concept for a third new model that may eventually be added to the Prius lineup.
The first photo above, which has been scanned to digital for web publication, is of the new Prius C concept, which is intended to appeal to those customers looking for a more compact, sportier car. Aimed at single, urban drivers, the Prius C concept is a departure from the rather family-oriented Prius sedans that Toyota has released over the last 5 years. This new design, which will almost certainly see some revisions before this car comes to market, features headlights placed far back on the hood, and more aggressive lines and styling than any Prius we’ve seen before.
The second photo depicts the new Prius V, which will be available toward the end of the summer this year. The Prius V looks quite a lot like the regular Prius, so much so that you might have to do a double take to notice the difference in this photo. But in person, the difference is obvious: the Prius V has 50 percent more cargo space than the regular Prius, thanks to a slightly longer wheelbase and a higher roofline that is almost mini-van-like in appearance. Because of its larger size, the Prius V won’t boast the same fuel efficiency numbers as its little brother, but the expected 40mpg is nothing to scoff at.
If you’re interested in maximizing your mpg, you’ll want the long-awaited plug-in version of the classic Prius sedan. This much-anticipated addition to the Prius lineup sports a lithium ion battery pack that allows the car to drive 13 miles (at speeds of up to 60mph) without ever engaging the gas engine. Expected to become available some time in the middle of 2012, the plug-in Prius should offer the best of both automotive worlds – the flexibility and range of an ordinary gasoline-powered car, and the efficiency and low ownership cost of an electric.
For more information about the Detroit Auto Show, or to see more car photos that have been scanned to digital, visit http://www.naias.com/photo-tour/photo-gallery.aspx.