Akio Toyoda, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corp, promoted his “Prius Family” with the unveiling of the Prius v and Prius c at the Detroit Auto Show on January 10, 2011.
The Prius hybrid came to America in 2000 as “a misunderstood concept struggl[ing] for acceptance”. Now, with nearly 1 million sold, the Prius is just 1 of 30 models of hybrids offered by 13 automotive brands. As more consumers prioritize fuel-efficiency, it makes sense for Toyota to continue their commitment to hybrid technology and the American customer by expanding their offerings.
First up, the Prius v”ersatility”. The Prius v answers consumer demand for a more spacious interior (34 cubic feet or 60% more than the 3rd generation) and commendable fuel-efficiency (40mpg combined). The 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine gallops with 98hp and 105 lb-ft of torque all with a footprint that is 66% less than the average new vehicle. It will be one of the first Toyotas to be equipped with the Entune media system and the first with the option for a moonroof and retractable sunshades. Available for purchase in late Summer 2011.
Toyota added a Lithium-ion battery for approximately 13 miles of electric driving capability. It will reach 60mph and can be fully charged in 3 hours on 110V (100 minutes hours on 220V). The Prius Plug-in “is a perfect car for someone like me who commutes 7 miles a day” said Mr. Toyoda. It will be available to the 14 coastal states that hold most demand for the current model before becoming Nationally available next year.
Over the next two years, this family is set to spawn 7 new models and 4 next generations (including hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery-electrics).
Article by Allison Leahy, appearing courtesy Earth & Industry.