There will soon be a new addition to the Toyota Prius family. Toyota plans to introduce the seven-seater Prius Plus to the UK market at the beginning of next year. The motoring press also reports that the company will be launching three brand new models over the next three years as part of its plans to develop the Prius into a separate brand, complete with its own showrooms by 2014.
That is, of course, when the current Prius saloon is due for replacement. The new Prius C will not be altogether unfamiliar to most readers, since it is based on the Prius C concept car revealed at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2011.
To give the car a more conservative appeal, the blade-like headlights and distinctive LED running lights have been axed, as well as the bold indent running down the sides. The basic idea behind the car remains the same though: to provide a new entry-level model for the Prius brand that can compete with the CR-Z and Honda Insight.
The Prius C will be a compact and lightweight car. It will be driven by a combination of an electric motor and a 1.5 litre petrol engine and it will be the most efficient Prius yet. Fuel economy is expected to exceed 80 miles per gallon. That does not mean, however, that it will be a boring car - a two-door high performance version is on the cards for 2014.
From 2014 interested buyers will also be able to purchase a Prius SUV. Based on the RAV4, it will be highly efficient and offer a choice of the latest hybrid or plug-in technology.
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