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The first decade of the Toyota Prius – Click above for high-res image gallery

Toyota Hybrid X Concept - Click above for high-res image gallery

Toyota Hybrid X Concept - click above for high-res image gallery

Not long ago, we wondered just how steep the hill of customer acceptance is for a new technology like the Volt is. The question was how well the Chevy Volt and the Voltec powertrain could compete with the established Prius brand? Toyota, for its part, apparently thinks it's worth spreading the Prius name around a bit onto other hybrid vehicles.

Rumors of a separate brand to carry only hybrids has apparently been ruled out by Toyota. The brand and its dealerships would have carried the Prius logo that has become so synonymous with hybrid cars since Toyota introduced the world to the car in 1997. Previous rumors had indicated that Toyota would launch the Prius brand much as it had the Scion moniker a few years ago.

The idea of a separate brand for the Toyota Prius has gone from "seriously considering" to "not a 'go'" to, now, "Um, no." That's the word from Miguel Fonseca, Toyota's managing director in the UK, who says that there won't be a Prius sub-brand.

Click above for more images of the 2010 Toyota Prius

For some time now, Toyota has been contemplating the creation of a new Prius brand akin to Scion that would be dedicated to hybrid vehicles. This much is acknowledged by Toyota's Group VP for communications, Irv Miller. However a report the other day on Left Lane News that Toyota had decided to move ahead with a Prius brand was apparently premature. In a blog post yesterday, Miller declared unequivocally that the unattributed story was "completely false." At this point no decision has been made

This isn't the first time we've heard that Toyota might spin off the Prius as a separate brand much like Scion. But we now have the most concrete news about the automaker's plans we've seen yet.

Click above image for more shots of the Toyota 1/X hybrid

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