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Toyota introduces other members of the Prius family; mid-size and compact

Prius and Prius v
The Prius (left) and the new Prius v (right). Click to enlarge.

Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc., unveiled the Prius family of vehicles today at the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The production-slated new Prius v mid-size hybrid-electric vehicle and the Prius c Concept vehicle joined the current third-generation Prius and Prius Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHV) in an attempt to broad the appeal of Prius to all ages and lifestyles.

The Prius mid-size liftback has accounted for more than 955,000 sales in the US since it was introduced in 2000. The third-generation Prius, which reached dealerships in June 2009, has become the third-best selling Toyota passenger car in the US. 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.

It’s a modern family with a Prius for everyone. 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.

—Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager

Prius v powertrain
Engine 1.8L with VVT-i
Engine hp 98 hp @ 5,200 rpm
Engine torque: 105 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Electric motor: Permanent magnet synchronous motor
Motor output: 80 hp/153 lb-ft torque
Hybrid system net power: 134 hp
Emission rating: SULEV/Tier 2 Bin 3

Prius v. The new Prius v, with “v” expressing the vehicle’s versatility, shares the current generation Prius’ platform and Hybrid Synergy Drive technology, including the NiMH battery pack. A new vehicle designed from the ground up, Prius v has a shape that evolved from Prius rather than being an elongated version. With a compact exterior and spacious interior, the Prius v will offer more than 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° recline for greater comfort. The 60/40 split, folding rear seats present four different seat arrangements that provide good usability for passengers and luggage, while a fold-flat front-passenger seat allows for extremely long cargo.

Also available, and a Toyota-first, is a resin Panoramic View moonroof with power retractable sun shades that provides an open atmosphere in the cabin with a 40% reduction in weight as compared to conventional glass roofs of the same size, and excellent heat insulation performance.

The Prius v will deliver estimated EPA fuel economy ratings of 42 mpg city, 38 mpg highway and 40 mpg combined (), currently the best fuel economy ratings of any SUV, crossover, or wagon on the market. It will also emit 66% fewer smog-forming emissions than the average new vehicle.

Four driving modes (Normal, Power, Eco and EV) satisfy a variety of road conditions and driver preferences. A Smart Key System with Push Button Start, an electronic shift lever, Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), and a back-up camera are standard. Available options include energy-efficient LED headlamps, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with a Pre-Collision System (PCS), and Advanced Parking Guidance System.

Prius c Concept 005
The PRius c Concept. Click to enlarge.

For a high level of safety, there are seven airbags, a high-strength cabin and an energy-absorbing body structure with impact beams, cross members and leg absorption pads. New driver and front-passenger seat design helps lessen possible whiplash injury during a collision.

Prius v will feature Toyota’s Star Safety System standard, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. It also features the standard Smart Stop Technology brake-override system.

Prius v will be one of the first Toyotas with the Entune multimedia system, introduced earlier at CES. Toyota Entune debuts support for engaging mobile apps, such as Bing, OpenTable, and, along with accessing useful travel-related services, such as live weather, traffic, fuel information (location and price), stocks, news and sports. Prius v will combine Entune with a standard Display Audio system rich with dynamic entertainment and communication features.

The 2012 Prius v will go on sale in late summer 2011.

Prius c Concept. The Prius c Concept, with c representing a “city”-centric vehicle, is intended to appeal to young singles and couples who want an eco-sensitive, high-mileage, fun-to-drive Prius, Toyota said.

Prius c Concept 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 US market with the highest mileage of any “cordless” hybrid.



Here's our design: Prius C and V lift-hatch models

Battery-electric vehicle tech gets a boost when supporting the ICE sector hybrid-drive industries.

Hybrids "halve" the battery-system and "double" its market saturation; not with more batteries, but with more vehicles - with a better battery pack - ie, hybrids go electric 'en mas' sooner.


Toyota seems to be expanding both ends of the Prius III. The electrified vehicle Prius Brand may be here to stay and could even break away from Toyota?


I love some of the features.

Pretty soon it will be very, very difficult for you to be the cause of an accident unless you are driving very erratically or intentionally trying to smash into someone.

I know M-B already has had some of these features along with other select top-end luxury models from other makes but seeing them on a reasonably priced mass market vehicle is very encouraging. The price keeps coming down and soon rear-end collisions will be a thing of the past (or mitigated to a mostly slow speed bump at worst).


As long as the future car can't take over the steering wheel and accellerator, Patrick, I'll support a fail-safe computerized emergency brake system as a backup.

A technology that can limit speed in restricted speed zones could be seen as a safety feature. Could vehicles automatically switch to 'economy mode' or 'slow speed limit' in pedestrian districts? In a car chase, a remote shut-off switch could bring escaping assailants to a stop, etc.


Cameras are doing a good job to catch speeders and other traffic laws offenders. Each well located camera can produce up to $250,000/revenue. The wireless models can be moved easily. Some cities and countries install them in very low cost used vehicles that can be moved around more often. It is a real win-win-win-win solution. (see more advantages below)

One million+ locally produced camera could create many new manufacturing jobs, plus many more for installation and monitoring.

Traffic surveillance would become a profitable industry.

Road fatalities would go down drastically. Many thousand severe costly injuries would be avoided. Health care cost would go down. Productivity would go up. Wasteful property damages would be reduced. The national deficit would go down. The current recession would end sooner. etc etc.

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