Exactly how the Prius name navigates the shift from defining the world's most famous hybrid to it's own sub-brand – "Not!" – or moniker for other Toyota hybirds – "Yes!" – has been a source of interest for quite some time. The latest bit of speculative news comes from the Yomiuri newspaper in Japan (via Green Car Advisor) that the automaker is considering building a Prius sport wagon or a Prius SUV about 12 months from now, maybe using lithium-ion batteries (despite Toyota's public pronouncements). Toyota officials would not comment to the Yomiuri about the report.
As we saw with the Hybrid X (above) unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2007, Toyota has been thinking about a Prius wagon for a while. Green Car Advisor speculates that the the Venza could be a good candidate for the production wagon, while any of Toyota's JDM wagons could make the transition to hybrids here. As for a Prius SUV? Tone down the Lexus RX 400h and there you go.
[Source: Yomiuri via Green Car Advisor]