Roadshow Video Reviews
2012 Toyota Prius VThe Prius gets a bigger brother and a plug-in soon.
-We have a property as hot as Toyota's Prius brand, what do you do? You do what's called a line extension in the brand and marketing world. You build more model and variants off of it, and that's what's happening with the Prius. Here is the first additional model to wear the Prius badge. It's called the Prius V, and this is kind of a what? A little bit of a people mover. It's not dramatically larger than a Prius sedan, but it's got a little higher roof line, a little more flatly arched roof line, and a little more mass all around. That gives you kind of a mini minivan. Powertrain is the same as the standard Prius sedan. As a result, when you add more mass with the same powertrain, you're gonna end up with a little bit lower mpg. So, where the current Prius sedan does 49 highway/51 city, this guy will do 38 highway/42 city. So, you get, on average, about a 10 mpg haircut, but a lot more room. Let's look inside; okay, different layout in the front here of the cabin, a little different sculpturing in the center stack. We're gonna see the same technology, again, the same kind of controls. That's the same powertrain. You've got your electric eco and power mode. These we've also seen on the current Prius. Now, look in the rears here, you see some real usable space: very flexible, flattenable second row seats. And beyond that second row, with pretty good seating flexibility, you got a cargo box back here. It's just a very different thing in a Prius. And you know, overall, from the outside? I think the way this works out in here makes for better lines out there. This is just simply a handsomer car than a Prius sedan, don't you think? Now, Prius high mileage nuts have been adding batteries, homebrew style, to their cars for quite a while, making plug-ins. Here's the factory version finally announced for real--the Prius Plug-In. It's the standard Prius sedan, but of course, we've got a charging port up here that leads to a bigger stock of batteries in the car. What's the point? It can do more electric driving than the standard Prius. That means, your overall blended mpg is gonna be even higher. The numbers aren't out just yet, but, they say you'll get 13 miles of pure electric running, and then after that, it goes into traditional regenerative hybrid mode. When you do plug it in, if it's dead empty, you're gonna only take about 3 hours to get a full charge on that battery. Oh yeah, it's not a battery electric car that runs all of its range on electric power. That's why the charge is relatively quick: 3 hours on a 110, hour and a half on a level 2 or a 240-volt charger. This guy's gonna be creeping out sometime in the early timeframe of 2012. And last of our trio of Prii is this new one, very concepty as you can see. They're calling it the Prius C concept. This is, you know, possible production 2012. This is not slated for production yet, but this would be the leanest, smallest, most compact of this new triad of Prius vehicles, so, the opposite direction of the V. This is something very city-oriented. You can imagine having the same powertrain with less bulk, mass, and weight, would then raise the mpg numbers even higher than the already quite astounding ones that the Prius sedan gets. The form factor here has been penned by the European design studio for Toyota. It's got a little bit of a CRZ DNA going to it, but definitely has the urban statement all over it. So, we've got 3 levels of Prius now. As promised about a year ago, Toyota taking Prius from a model to almost a sub-brand within the Toyota brand.