Toyota unveils Prius station wagon

toyota_prius.jc.top.jpgBeginning this year, Toyota will begin selling different hybrid models bearing the Prius name including this station wagon (left) an this compact car (right). By Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior writer


DETROIT (CNNMoney) -- At the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, Toyota is asking "What's the plural of Prius?"

They'd better figure it out because, very soon, Toyota will be offering more than just one version of the Prius.

At last year's Detroit Auto Show, Toyota Motor Co. (TOYOF) announced it would create an entire line-up of vehicles sharing the Prius name. At this year's show, Toyota unveiled the first vehicle in that new line-up, a Prius-based wagon that will go on sale later this year.

"This is no ordinary family," Toyota general manager Bob Carter said of the new set of Prius vehicles "It's a modern family with a Prius for everyone."

The new wagon-like Prius, called the Prius V -- that's the letter V for "versatility," Toyota says, not the Roman numeral five -- has a more spacious interior than the familiar Prius hatchback. The Prius V offers 50% more interior space, according to Toyota.

The back seats slide back and forth, providing more legroom or cargo space as needed and the rear seatbacks also recline up to 45 degrees.

The Prius V will get EPA-estimated fuel economy of 42 mpg in the city and 38 on the highway, Toyota said.

Toyota also introduced a concept version of a smaller Prius.

The Prius C concept car is a basically a compact version of the Prius on the road today. This mini-Prius will have the best fuel economy of any non-plug-in hybrid car, Toyota said. The automaker did not provide exact fuel economy estimates, however.

Toyota had previously announced that it would begin offering a plug-in version of the Prius in 2012. That car will go about 13 miles on plug-in power before turning to its gasoline engine, at which point it will operate like a regular Toyota Prius hybrid car.

Hybrid cars use electric motors to provide additional power to drive the cars, lessening the burden on the gasoline engine and providing improved fuel economy. Power for the electric motors is generated by the gasoline engine as the vehicle drives.

The Prius hatchback which is currently on sale already accounts for half of the hybrid vehicles sold in America. However, all hybrid vehicle sales combined only make up a tiny fraction of the total number of vehicle sales in America.

Karl Brauer, a senior analyst with the automotive Web site Edmunds.com, thought the Prius family was likely to sell well, just as its founding member has.

"Despite all Toyota's recent challenges the Prius name still carries a lot of brand equity," said Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Karl Brauer. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Find Your Next Car
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,291.33 222.46 1.30%
Nasdaq 4,621.42 73.59 1.62%
S&P 500 2,001.90 29.16 1.48%
Treasuries 2.11 0.04 2.03%
Data as of 2:56pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
General Electric Co 24.50 0.02 0.06%
Bank of America Corp... 17.01 0.29 1.73%
Apple Inc 108.76 2.01 1.89%
Cisco Systems Inc 26.66 0.07 0.28%
Halliburton Co 38.70 0.59 1.55%
Data as of 2:41pm ET

Sections

The world economy is getting worse. It might be time to re-position your investment portfolio. More

Stocks soared after Fed chair Janet Yellen and her fellow policymakers didn't sound in a rush to raise rates. More

News startup The Skimm announced a new round of funding, 1 million active readers, and plans to expand into a 'lifestyle brand.' More

Congress waited until the last minute to decide what to do with a slew of expired tax breaks. They extended most of them, and a handful will affect individuals directly. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.