2012 Toyota Prius v
|2012 Toyota Prius v|
Toyota announced the expansion of the Prius into a full family of vehicles at its booth today at the 2011 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), with the Prius v leading the charge. In addition, Toyota revealed the Prius c, a smaller, lower cost hybrid meant for urban running. Toyota claims the c will "will appeal to young singles and couples who want an eco-sensitive, high-mileage, fun-to-drive Prius" but we think the company has its sights set on Honda's recently announced Fit Hybrid. Rounding out the Prius family plans, Toyota provided an update on the status of its Prius Plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle program -- which has been operating on a test basis in several U.S cities. The company says it will begin selling the lithium-ion powered Prius Plug-ins in 14 states, starting in the first half of 2012. With the Plug-in variant set for production, the Prius family grows to four vehicles: Prius, Prius Plug-in, Prius v and Prius c.
2012 Toyota Prius V Front Three Quarter In Motion
Of these, the Prius v is the most intriguing as it is set to go on sale by the end of this summer. Though it shares the Prius' Hybrid Synergy Drive hybrid-electric powertrain, Toyota claims the v "is a new vehicle designed from the ground up, with a shape that evolved from Prius rather than being an elongated version." The family resemblance is obvious - Toyota is no doubt banking on the recognition and appeal of the regular Prius, which has sold some 955,000 copies in the U.S. since its introduction in 2000.
Like the current generation Prius, the Prius v is a showcase of the latest Toyota technology -- mostly notably Toyota's new Entune multimedia system. This new infotainment system uses mobile phone technology to deliver all of the content and services consumers expect on the latest smartphones, including one today's biggest buzzwords -- mobile applications. Microsofts' Bing search engine, OpenTable, and movietickets.com are just three of the notable apps listed as available one Entune, along with Pandora and iheartradio on the web-based music front. Entune also offers a laundry list of features including navigation with live weather, traffic, and news updates, a gas station locator, satellite radio, Bluetooth audio streaming and hands free phone operation, a text message read/reply service, and support for portable media player, such as iPod.
2012 Toyota Prius V Cockpit
For the rest of the driving experience, the v offers a futuristic cockpit, with single-dial air-conditioning control and a center-mounted digital information display. As with the Prius, four driving modes are available -- Normal, Power, Eco and EV. Standard features include a keyless entry system with push button start, electronic shift lever, Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), and back-up camera. LED headlamps, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with a Pre-Collision System (PCS), and Advanced Parking Guidance System -- the party trick that lets the Prius park itself -- are all options.
2012 Toyota Prius V Interior Seats
On the safety front, Prius v comes with seven airbags and new driver and front-passenger seat design that Toyota claims helps lessen possible whiplash injury during a collision. Also standard are Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti- lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. As a result of recent safety woes, the Prius also comes standard with Toyota's Smart Stop Technology brake-override system.
So don't worry, the Prius v is safe. In fact, it is a safe, conservative step from the company synonymous with risk aversion. But though it surprises nobody that Prius is becoming its only family of cars, you can bet that competitors worldwide are already furiously working on strategies to take on Toyota's rapidly expanding hybrid juggernaut.
|2012 Toyota Prius|
2012 Toyota Prius v
2012 Toyota Prius v