“Prius has become to hybrids what Kleenex is to tissues and Levis are to jeans.” So said Bob Carter, group VP and general manager of Toyota U.S.A. With so much brand power, it would be a waste to have only one Prius. From now on, Toyota has three. The Prius received a bigger and a smaller sibling, with the idea towards creating “a modern family with a Prius for everyone.”
The bigger is the Prius v (as in “versatile). It’s the wagon version of the Prius. They managed to keep the trademark wedge shape (Toyota likes to call it “triangle” instead), while adding more cargo space. Full details in the press release.
The smaller sibling is the Prius c (as in, you guessed it, “compact”). While the Prius v will be available this summer, the “c” in the Prius c can also stand for “concept.” No details available, but it’s a good guess if you expect the car in 2012.
Next year, you will also be able to buy the Prius plug-in (“Prius p”?) It gives you 12 miles of pure electric range, then the gasoline hybrid kicks in.
Looks like Toyota is building a sub-brand.