We've heard the argument before: Why get a big hybrid when a small hatchback can, in real-world conditions, post similar fuel economy figures. And to them, Toyota answers with the new Prius C.

Smaller than the existing Prius, the Prius C will launch at the rapidly approaching Tokyo Motor Show and makes its U.S. debut shortly after at the Detroit Auto Show in January. The nimble Prius C is about the size of a Yaris but packs a hybrid drivetrain, coupling an as-yet undisclosed "high-output" electric motor with a 1.5-liter gasoline engine. Destined to be called the Aqua in the Japanese Domestic Market, the hybrid hatchback also boasts a low center of gravity for better handling and luggage space. Compared to the standard Prius, the lower weight and smaller, less powerful engine in the Prius c will result in better-than-Prius fuel economy. Toyota says it will achieve over 50 miles per gallon in the city, the highest city fuel economy for any non-plug-in vehicle.

Of course the Prius C isn't the only debut Toyota has in store for Tokyo, as the production FT-86 – also boasting a low center of gravity thanks to a Subaru-sourced boxer engine mounted low in the frame – is set to bow at the Japanese expo as well. But Toyota isn't stopping there. It also has three environmentally-friendly concepts in store as well.

The rather sleek FCV-R previews a hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle that's targeted for a 2015 market launch. The FT-EV III previews the upcoming electric version of the iQ with a short-range battery-powered drivetrain. Finally Toyota is keeping its lips tightly sealed on the details of the Fun-Vii, a third concept car that hopefully has more to it than displaying flowers alongside its flank.

We'll have to wait until the show opens to find out more, but for now you can follow the jump for the full press release from Toyota and scope out the high-resolution images for a closer look at what TMC has got in store.


Show full PR text
Toyota Prius c Provides a Subcompact Entry Point to Prius Family of Hybrid Vehicles
Among the Most Advanced Vehicles in its Class Will Debut at 2012 NAIAS

TORRANCE (Nov. 15, 2011) –Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., will offer a fuel-efficient hybrid at a more accessible price when the Prius c joins the Prius Family of vehicles in the spring of 2012. The U.S. debut of the Prius c will be next January at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

This highly anticipated subcompact member of the Prius Family will bring Toyota's renowned Hybrid Synergy Drive® technology to a new segment of buyers when it joins the third-generation Prius Liftback hybrid vehicle, the versatile new Prius v midsize hybrid vehicle and the Prius Plug-in Hybrid model, which will also debut next spring. Positioned as an entry into the Prius Family appealing to youthful shoppers seeking fuel efficiency, technology, and spirited driving dynamics in the subcompact segment, the Prius c will offer:

-Expected class-leading fuel economy better than 50 mpg in the city, which is the highest city mpg of any non-plug-in vehicle.
-Proven hybrid technology, with 14 years of heritage, available at a more accessible price.
-A high degree of convenience features and premium in-car electronics, uncommon in a five-door configuration, creating a less compromised compact-car experience

As with other Prius models, Prius c combines its revolutionary Hybrid Synergy Drive® with excellent aerodynamics to achieve outstanding fuel efficiency. The new Prius c is unique in the Prius Family with a more youthful expression and a sportier dynamic character that offers a more fun-to-drive experience. The vehicle's five-door format and flexible packaging will adapt to a broad range of owners' needs.

The Prius c offers an unexpected level of convenience, capability and technology in a compact hybrid-electric at an attractive price. Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity, steering-wheel audio controls, and nine airbags will be among the standard features on the 2012 Prius c.

In addition,owners will enjoy a new dimension of connectivity courtesy of the available Toyota Entune™ multimedia system. Entune™ leverages the mobile smartphone to provide a richer in-vehicle infotainment experience with fully integrated access to navigation, entertainment, and information services. It allows users to connect with popular apps such as Bing™, OpenTable.com, and movietickets.com. Entune™ also provides access to real-time information services, such as live weather, traffic, fuel information (location and price), stocks, and sports. The Prius c also offers voice recognition, music streaming, and email/text to speech capabilities.

Toyota Entune™ brings one of the largest selections of music options available to a vehicle, including iheartradio's 750+ stations and Pandora® internet radio's personalized music. In addition, the driver's personal songs from portable media players and iPods (via USB or Bluetooth® audio streaming), and more than 170 stations from SiriusXM™ satellite radio are also available.

Making premium technology available to compact-car shoppers, the Prius c offers superior fuel economy in a stylish, user-friendly package.


TOYOTA: FIVE WORLD PREMIERES AT TOKYO

Toyota today announced five world premieres for the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, including the prototype of its new compact sports car.

The unveiling of the stunning coupe will be joined by global debuts of the Prius C compact city car and three ground-breaking concepts - a next-generation hydrogen fuel-cell sedan, an ultra-compact electric car and a quirky vehicle known as the Fun-Vii.

The much-anticipated rear-wheel drive sports car is the culmination of the FT-86 series of concepts that have featured at motor shows around the world, including Australia.

A joint development with Fuji Heavy Industries, the car is destined to add appeal and excitement to the Toyota brand by reaffirming the joy of driving.

Toyota's return to the sports-car market is in response to an edict by global president Akio Toyoda for the company to re-connect with younger buyers by producing fun-to-drive models.

The spiritual successor to Toyota's illustrious sports-car heritage that includes names such as Supra and MR2, the new coupe is due in Australian showrooms around the middle of next year.

Prius C (world premiere)

Ahead of the Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota has released the first official details of the Prius C, a compact city car that will be launched in Australia next year.

Prius C combines the features of a Yaris-sized car with a hybrid vehicle to deliver a fun-to-drive compact vehicle with excellent fuel economy.

The Australian launch of Prius C in the first quarter of 2012 is destined to bring the benefits of hybrid ownership to a much wider audience.

The body, at less than four metres long, promises nimble handling while its stylish proportions and low height are designed to enhance aerodynamic performance.

Prius C features a compact and lightweight hybrid system - a 1.5-litre petrol engine with a high-output motor - that achieves 35-40 kilometres per litre on the official Japanese test cycles.

Engine and hybrid components are arranged to deliver a low centre of gravity that contributes to spirited driving while the interior offers high levels of comfort and ample luggage space.

Prius C is due to be launched late next month in Japan, where it will be called Aqua.

Key dimensions of Prius C are: length 3995mm, width 1695mm, height 1445mm, wheelbase 2550mm, seating 5.

FCV-R (world premiere)

This concept model is a highly practical fuel-cell vehicle (FCV) that is planned for launch in about 2015.

It is fuelled by hydrogen, a promising source of CO2 emission-free energy that can be produced from a variety of sources and is easy to store and transport.

With the fuel-cell unit located beneath the specially designed body, the vehicle can accommodate up to four passengers and boasts impressive luggage space.

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) says the fuel cell stack, consisting of a 70MPa high-pressure hydrogen tank, has been improved to provide a cruising distance of approximately 700km under test conditions.

Key dimensions of the FCV-R are: length 4745mm, width 1790mm, height 1510mm, wheelbase 2700mm, seating 4.

FT-EV III (world premiere)

The latest in a series of electric concept cars, the FT-EV III is an ultra-compact and lightweight package suitable for short-distance trips.

Equipped with a lithium-ion battery, the FT-EV III achieves an estimated cruising range of 105km on a fully charged battery.

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) is developing electric vehicles with the aim of launching a car next year that is suitable for short-distance travel.

Toyota says electric vehicles with zero CO2 emissions are important eco-cars of the future that have the potential to replace cars fuelled by petrol.

Key dimensions of the FT-EV III are: length 3110mm, width 1680mm, height 1500mm, wheelbase 2000mm, seating 4.

Toyota Fun-Vii (world premiere)

This quirky concept vehicle heralds a future where people, cars and society are linked.

It is a key exhibit for the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show, which is being staged under the theme "Mobility can change the world".

Prius Plug-in Hybrid (Japan premiere)

The Prius Plug-in Hybrid, an environment-friendly vehicle that combines features from both pure-electric and petrol-electric hybrid vehicles, is equipped with a new, high-capacity lithium-ion battery that can be charged from a household outlet.

Able to operate as an electric vehicle on short trips and as a petrol-electric hybrid vehicle on medium to long trips, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid can be used regardless of battery charge status or the availability of charging infrastructure.

With this vehicle, TMC aims to address environmental issues such as the reduction of fossil fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and atmospheric pollution.

A production model is planned for launch by TMC in early 2012 with an EV cruising range on fully charged battery of 23.4km, positioning the plug-in hybrid as a leading next-generation eco-car coming after petrol-electric hybrid vehicles.

The plug-in hybrid vehicle represents the technology TMC considers best suited for widespread use to meet CO2 emissions restrictions and the diversification of energy.

Other activities

Separately from the motor show, at nearby Mega Web, TMC will hold hands-on events that will allow visitors the opportunity to test-drive some of the display vehicles and experience future technologies.

TMC will also create a Tokyo Motor Show portal site (www.toyota.co.jp) to stream information from the show along with virtual events introduced on the GAZOO Metapolis site (http://metapolis.toyota.co.jp).


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 69 Comments
      Klinkster
      • 3 Years Ago
      Contrary to popular belief...the race-car driving people of Autoblog are not the target market for the Prius C. **SURPRISE** This will do well particularly since it drives better, get 50+MPG and comes in colors other than silver. :)
        aatbloke1967
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Klinkster
        Most AB posters aren't old enough to drive, so they're most certainly out of the target market for this car.
          aatbloke1967
          • 3 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          "just because you're in your forties doesn't mean the rest are kids, grandpa" Then they generally act and spell like children.
          Lachmund
          • 3 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          just because you're in your forties doesn't mean the rest are kids, grandpa
      monobloc_6piston
      • 3 Years Ago
      that zebra is such a copy of a horse i like the "it looks like a" comment. Well both cars in the same family, but if you have no eye for design, you'd think they're the same. I think it's a solid design that isn't extremely vanilla although I love the iQ (totally one up'd the smart car in regards to design).
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      chasegarcia
      • 3 Years Ago
      I will prefer if this was the new regular Prius. I really liked the C Concept.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Lachmund
        • 3 Years Ago
        hahaha...vwfailsagain fails again. you can't be serious about liking this car and bitch about vw and their diesels?! hahaha
      artandcolour2010
      • 3 Years Ago
      wow. a decent looking new Toyota. I think it's quite well styled, actually. Easily the best looking Prius, and small Toyota in ages.
      DrEvil
      • 3 Years Ago
      Okay Autoblog what gives? How on earth do you follow up the Shelby GT-500 story with stories about the Fiat Panda and the Prius C? I was still nursing a chubby, now you've ruined it.
        aatbloke1967
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DrEvil
        I'm guessing that because it's entitled "autoblog", it's essentially a blog which concentrates on anything automotive-related. Just a hunch, but there you go. You never know with Americans.
          aatbloke1967
          • 3 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          "That was tongue-in-cheek, said in jest." But of course, the age-old American "humour" ... my apologies.
          DrEvil
          • 3 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          That was tongue-in-cheek, said in jest. There you go being a jackass.
          Paradigm ♂♂
          • 3 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          ...since you're so worried about what "Americans" do, it's "humor", not humour when referring to us.
          BB79826
          • 3 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          Don't feed the troll. He just felt like coming on an American-based blog which reports automotive news from an American perspective and making fun of Americans. Gosh, he sure showed us.
          Paradigm ♂♂
          • 3 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          His statement was sarcasm, no reason for you to bitch at him.
          Basil Exposition
          • 3 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          "But of course, the age-old American "humour" ... my apologies." Douschebag, this is an american website. If you don't like Americans or their humor, don't visit this site.
          aatbloke1967
          • 3 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          Or, in the English-speaking world "douchebag".
      Luc Helterbrand
      • 3 Years Ago
      congrats toyota...you have maintained your ability to take a nice looking concept car...and then present a pos production car like this. U G L Y !!! disappointing.
      Skye Barcus
      • 3 Years Ago
      Toyota really needs to make like Kia and hire a VP of Design. Think what a boon it would be for their sales if they could not only have their legendary quality, fuel economy, etc... but also a lineup of beautiful vehicles? I refuse to believe that there's some economic reason that only certain brands (like Audi) have great styling.
        Lachmund
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Skye Barcus
        i certainly don't get it either. why is it so difficult to find good designers. they should care about the rest of the world, shouldn't they? and with kia and hyundai getting constantly better they surely are left at last place in the design department....why don't they care and just hire some good guys like hyundai and kia did?!
      iamdaniel21
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks like a Honda fit wannabee
      ted
      • 3 Years Ago
      Am I the only one disappointed in 'over 50 MPG city'? Couldn't a compact car with a small diesel engine approach this MPG?
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