Prius Family of Vehicles Unveiled by Toyota at the International Auto Show in Detroit

Toyota PriusThe 2011 North American International Auto Show held in Detroit unveiled the Prius family of vehicles.

In addition to the current third-generation Prius and Prius Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHV) a new Prius v midsize hybrid-electric vehicle and the Prius c concept as the iconic hybrid brand to all ages and lifestyles was added.

A new evolution of vehicles will further increase the acceptance of hybrids with Prius’ same core values of high fuel economy, low emissions and proven technology.  “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.”

Since 2000 in the U.S. was introduced the Prius midsize liftback has accounted more than 955,000 sales. The third-generation Prius, which reached dealerships in June 2009, has continued the hybrid’s heritage of exceptional fuel economy and low emission, while becoming the third-best selling Toyota passenger car in the U.S. The Prius has also been a technological flagship vehicle, offering new features to the Toyota brand like Touch Tracer Display, Solar Powered ventilation, Smart Key System with Push Button Start, Lane Keep Assist, an Advanced Parking Guidance System and LED headlamps.

The new Prius v, with “v” expressing the vehicle’s versatility, will meet the needs of growing families with active lifestyles. The Prius v will feature over 50% more interior cargo space than the current Prius. Comfortable seating for five is specifically designed for young families.  Sliding second row seats allow for easier ingress and egress and rear-storage flexibility, with a 45-degree recline for greater comfort.  The 60/40 split, folding rear seats present four different seat arrangements that provide excellent usability for passengers and luggage, while a fold-flat front-passenger seat allows for extremely long cargo.

Despite the spaciousness of a family friendly midsize vehicle, the Prius v will deliver estimated EPA fuel economy ratings of 42 mpg city, 38 mpg highway and 40 mpg combined the best fuel economy ratings of any SUV, crossover, or wagon on the market.  It will also emit 66-percent fewer smog-forming emissions than the average new vehicle. A new evolution in hybrid vehicles with excellent cargo space and Prius’ heritage of environmental performance and fuel economy, the 2012 Prius v will go on sale in late summer 2011.

The Prius c Concept, with c representing a “city”-centric vehicle, will appeal to young singles and couples who want an eco-sensitive, high-mileage, fun-to-drive Prius. This dynamic vehicle with urban appeal will pursue outstanding fuel efficiency in a compact package, while also providing a surprisingly spacious interior.  It will include many advanced technology features, including some offered on the current Prius and is the inspiration for an additional Prius family member that will come to market in the first half of 2012 as the most value-oriented hybrid in the U.S. market with the highest mileage of any “cordless” hybrid.

With the addition of new technology and shifts in the market, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid is the family member that represents the best of both worlds – the superior fuel economy of the Prius with added Electric Vehicle driving capability. Depending on driving conditions, Prius Plug-in can be driven approximately 13 miles on battery power at speeds up to 60 mph.  It’s compact Lithium-ion battery provides less weight and a quicker recharging time, taking three hours on 110 volts and 1.7 hours on 220 volts.  It can be “topped off” anytime with a convenient short charge. After the Electric Vehicle power is depleted, the Plug-in performs like an economical third-generation Prius, the most fuel efficient midsize hybrid vehicle in America.  Unlike pure Electric Vehicles, it will be a seamless transition for consumers, with the only difference from a regular Prius is that it can be plugged in at convenient intervals.

Currently, more than 150 Lithium-ion-battery powered Prius Plug-ins are part of a demonstration program in several U.S. cities.  The program’s goal is to demonstrate plug-in technology, educate and inform the public, evaluate performance, and better understand the benefits to future customers.  This will help pave the way for an on-sale target in the first half of 2012.

The Plug-in will be initially offered in 14 West and East Coast states (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Virginia and New Hampshire) where nearly 60 percent of all Prius models are currently sold. Availability in all remaining states will be a year later. When it comes to market, the Prius Plug-in will represent the most eco-sensitive and advanced choice within the Prius brand of products.

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Posted by on January 17, 2011. Filed under Breakthroughs, Hybrid vehicles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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