2011 Detroit Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- Toyota is beefing up its Prius lineup with two new models that were previewed on Monday at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.
- The 2012 Toyota Prius V offers 50 percent more cargo space than a conventional Prius and will go on sale in late summer.
- The Toyota Prius C concept previews a "value-oriented" hybrid bound for U.S. showrooms in 2012.
DETROIT — Toyota showed off an expanded Prius lineup on Monday at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, revealing a larger-body-style Prius and a Prius concept. With the additional models, Prius now morphs into a "sub-brand," along the lines of Toyota's Scion youth brand.
The five-passenger 2012 Prius V offers 50 percent more cargo space than a conventional Prius and will go on sale in late summer, said Toyota. Pricing was not announced.
The Toyota Prius C concept previews a "value-oriented" hybrid bound for U.S. showrooms in 2012, said the Japanese automaker. Pricing was not announced.
The Prius V is said to stand for "versatility." Toyota said it shares the current-generation Prius' platform and Hybrid Synergy Drive technology. It is equipped with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, an electric motor and a nickel-metal hydride battery pack. The hybrid system's net horsepower is pegged at 134, said Toyota — identical to that in the conventional Prius. The Prius V will deliver an estimated 42 mpg in city driving and 38 mpg on the highway.
Exterior cues include an extended roof line and a roof spoiler to improve air flow. Toyota calls the Prius V "the most spacious dedicated hybrid on the market." It will include an optional panoramic moonroof with power-retractable sunshades.
The Prius V is larger in all dimensions versus the 2011 Prius. The Prius V rides on a 109.4-inch wheelbase compared to a 106.3-inch wheelbase in the conventional Prius. The overall length of the Prius V is 181.7 inches versus 175.6 inches in the conventional Prius.
The Prius C concept is said to stand for "city-centric."
"The 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 U.S. market," said Toyota in a statement.
The rollout of the "Prius family" comes at a time when gas prices have hit the $3 mark and are predicted to edge closer to $4 a gallon by the summer. But the ambitious plans for Prius come at a time when Toyota is still reeling from halting the sales and production of some of its models in the U.S. because of defects that could cause the cars to accelerate suddenly.
Edmunds.com says: The Prius family puts down deeper roots, but will consumers go along with the program? — Anita Lienert, Correspondent