Mama Prius: The More Voluminous Prius v (2011 Detroit Auto Show)

toyota prius v hybrid photo
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The Prius Goes Plural

It's now officially official, the Prius is now a family of cars and not a single model. We had already seen some concept cars with the Prius badge, but the new Prius V is a production model that should be available next summer. It's very similar to the 2010 Prius, but it trades some fuel efficiency for room: It's a bit bigger, but combined MPG is 40 instead of 50 (which is a bit disappointing).

toyota prius v photo
toyota prius v hybrid photo

The "V" stands for "versatility", says Toyota. The big plus is 50% more cargo space than the regular Prius.

toyota prius v hybrid photo

"With a balance between outstanding spaciousness, refined style, and smooth aerodynamics, Prius v has a low 0.29 coefficient of drag, which does not inhibit the vehicle's convenient packaging. It is a new vehicle designed from the ground up, with a shape that evolved from Prius rather than being an elongated version."

toyota prius v hybrid photo

Preliminary Specifications

1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with VVT-i
Engine horsepower: 98 hp @ 5,200 rpm
Engine torque: 105 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Electric motor: Permanent magnet synchronous motor
Electric motor power output: 80 hp/153 lb-ft torque
Hybrid system net horsepower: 134 hp
Emission rating: SULEV/Tier 2 Bin 3
Electronically controlled continuously variable transmission

Drive System: Front-wheel-drive
Hybrid battery pack: Nickel-metal hydride
Estimated fuel economy: 42 mpg city/38 mpg hwy/ 40 mpg comb.

toyota prius v hybrid photo
toyota prius v hybrid photo

About the rear seats: "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."

Sadly, no info about pricing yet. At the latest, it should appear before launch around the late spring/early summer.