• Sep 28, 2010
Even though we've been hearing various rumblings across the interwebs for quite some time now that Toyota was hard at work crafting a mini-minivan version of its popular Pruis hybrid hatchback, it always helps assuage the skeptics when spy shots start to show up. And that's exactly what we have here.
Toyota's next swagger wagon appears to share its basic aerodynamic wedge-like profile with the well-known Prius, but the entire greenhouse seems to have been moved up and forward a few inches, taking on an airier feeling in the process. We don't see any evidence of sliding doors, so we'll have to assume (for now) that the Prius minivan will use four normal swinging portals.

Rumors indicate this machine, which may be called the Prius Alpha, will sport three rows and offer seating for seven. The spy shooter suggests that the MPV is roughly the size of a Mazda5, which we'd guess is just about right. Power will likely come from a version of the Prius hatchback's four-cylinder hybrid powertrain, possibly with the addition of lithium ion batteries to improve mileage and may even allow for more electric-only propulsion opportunities. Look for it to hit the market around 2012.

[Source: Carscoop]


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  • 26 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Finally they show up, hybrids in forms other than sedan like.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Uh, ever hear of the Escape hybrid?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Or the original Honda Insight and new Honda CR-Z? Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Tahoe Hybrid, Sierra Hybrid... etc., etc.
      xterra4mike
      • 4 Years Ago
      How funny is it that companies put paneling on their vehicles to keep the brand and ideas under wraps but when caught in the wild like these spy photos have a Prius and a pre-production Lexus CT 200h!?! I mean come on now people.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's a prius...AND a minivan. I bet Jeremy Clarkson is gonna LOVE this one!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hopefully they'll crash one into a table like they did with the GeeWhiz!
      xterra4mike
      • 4 Years Ago
      How funny is it that companies put paneling on their vehicles to keep the brand and ideas under wraps but when caught in the wild like these spy photos have a Camry and a pre-production Lexus CT 200h in it!?! I mean come on now people.
      • 4 Years Ago
      now, it's just their new hatchback.

      oh... oh the thing in BLACK.. sorry i was distracted by the boring silver thing that looks about as fun (and is, about as fun as) a minivan.

      :P
      • 4 Years Ago
      I would be slightly dissappointed if this MPV was successful. (IF it comes to the US) Now I only say that because the Mazda5 is a fantastic little van that hardly gets any attention at all. The Kia Rondo was great as well, and it's been terminated. IF this comes to the US and sells relatively well, then it really would prove that it's the hybrid gimmickry that's doing the selling. That would be a shame since the 5/Rondo were one of the most considered to be one of the most overlooked cars last year, and now the market for them is shrinking even more.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Mazda5 would have been better with normal doors instead of the sliders. Kia Rondo was just award looking. Fuel economy for both was so-so.

        Hyundai's new MPV that will replace the Elantra Touring should be much better than both of them and get better MPG with DI and possibly turbo.
        • 4 Years Ago
        yes - the "gimmickry" of it getting great mpg.

        I like vehicles like this myself. They are practical for any number of things.
        However, neither the rondo or the mazda you mention get (got) mpg which I would be happy with.

        IF this things comes stateside (and I agree that at this point it would surprise me as we don't seem to get anything interesting or cool) then it will come down to price and efficiency. That, and being robust, has been the prius' big secret. It works.

        Frankly I don't think it deserves the 'gimick' tag at all.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, if it gets mileage similar to the car Prius then I have to agree that it's really not a gimmick. The Prius isn't one of the hybrids where there's negligible fuel economy and a minivan that got over 40MPG would be pretty impressive.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Mazda 5 definitely seems like a good little vehicle. Kia Rondo? Not so much. Questionable reliability and looks uglier/more boring/like more ass than any other vehicle on the road.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks like its the Toyota Verso-S, basically the MPV that Toyota introduced in Europe.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It might just be me but calling it a Prius Alpha indicates it will be the top of the line car. A minivan carrying that name well won't do it any favors. Now if it was a sporty coupe ok I'd roll with the Alpha tag but again a minivan bleh!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks like a Venza
      • 4 Years Ago
      This looks like a smaller Prius they have mentioned at Detroit:

      http://www.woodyscarsite.com/2010/09/small-toyota-prius-hatch-hybrid.html
      • 4 Years Ago
      Prius estate? I like it. If I needed a big car this would be on my list.
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