Sometime in early 2008, about the time when it became clear that Honda was planning to price its then-upcoming Insight hybrid very aggressively, rumors began to circulate that following the release of the redesigned third-gen Prius, Toyota was considering continuing sales of a de-contented second-generation version in order to compete. Ultimately, Toyota confirmed that plan, although the decision was made to offer the old Prius only in Japan. That model, now labeled as the Prius EX, is going on sale in its home market – mostly to fleet customers – starting June 8.

The EX is only available in black, silver or white with a grey interior (the car shown above is a 2009 U.S. model, as Toyota has not released images of the new model). Dual stage airbags and air-conditioning are standard, but luxury items like hub caps and foglights will now be dealer-installed options. The base price of the Prius EX is about $19,700 at current exchange rates (1,890,000 yen, the exact same base price as the Honda Insight in Japan) and Toyota hopes to sell about 2,000 a month.

Toyota vice-president of communications, Irv Miller, explained to Autoblog that the company opted not to offer this model in the U.S. because updated on-board diagnostics regulations for 2010 would require a significant amount of software development, an investment that would likely negate any savings in offering the older model.

[Source: Toyota]

Toyota to Release New 2G 'Prius' Grade-'EX'

Tokyo - TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announces that it will release a new grade of its second-generation "Prius" aimed mainly at fleet customers. The competitively priced "EX" Prius is to be sold through "Toyota" and "Toyopet" dealer channels, starting on June 8.

The EX will be available in three colors-Super White II, Silver Metallic and Black-with a gray interior, and will come with a color-coded front grill. It will feature the same basic safety and comfort elements of the "G" and "S" grades that it replaces, such as dual-stage Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbags up front and an electric inverter-controlled automatic air-conditioning system with humidity sensor.

But hubcaps, front fog lights and other equipment have been made dealer options, rather than standard, to better suit fleet users' needs.

The total monthly sales target is 2,000 units.

Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (Prices in Hokkaido and Okinawa differ)
Grade Hybrid System Powertrain Price* (including
consumption tax)
EX THS II (Toyota Hybrid System II) Front-engine,
front-wheel drive 1,890,000 yen
*Excludes recycling fees

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