Next-gen hybrid gets a range of body styles, sticks with Toyota badge
26 November 2008

Toyota won’t be launching a green Prius sub-brand, the company’s UK managing director, Miguel Fonseca, has told Autocar.

But he did confirm that a range of new Prius body styles are on the way, intended to complement Toyota’s third-generation hybrid saloon when it goes on sale late next year.

Fonseca wouldn’t be drawn on what body styles we should expect, but Autocar understands that an estate version is likely and that a hybrid MPV is a possibility.

The production version of the next Prius is due to make its debut at the Detroit motor show in January, before going on sale towards the end of 2009. Any new body styles won’t be revealed until late 2010 at the earliest.

Fonseca quashed rumours that the next Prius would adopt lithium-ion battery technology at some stage of its lifespan.

While he acknowledged that powerful, efficient lithium-ion batteries were a future direction, Toyota’s engineers do not believe they are efficient or durable enough to enter mass-production yet. The new Prius will be faster, larger and more efficient than the current car.

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Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius is an easy and very visible route to greenness, even if its reputation as the minicab of choice for UK drivers is now impossible to shake off

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It will use Toyota’s new-generation Hybrid Synergy Drive, coupling longer-lasting batteries and more powerful electric motors with a more efficient 1.5-litre engine.

Rumours suggest the Prius saloon will achieve more than 90mpg. We’ll find out at Detroit in January.

Will Powell

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26 November 2008

Looks interesting - a head-to-head with this and the new Insight will be interesting, but if Toyota price the Prius at anything over £17,000 like the current model, it'll be overpriced.

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Our Verdict

Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius is an easy and very visible route to greenness, even if its reputation as the minicab of choice for UK drivers is now impossible to shake off

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week