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Toyota Prius MPV Gets Big Teaser Photo

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On: Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 9:17AM | By: Chris Weiss

Toyota Prius MPV Gets Big Teaser Photo

Just a few days ago, the Wall Street Journal reported about two new Prius models, a large and a small version to make the current model medium. Both models will launch by 2013, with the larger model offering 50 percent more interior space than the current-generation Prius. Toyota has officially teased the big boy of the Prius family, using a billboard to show what the Prius MPV will be all about.

Actually, there's little of the Prius MPV to see in the billboard, which was put up in celebration of the Prius' 10-year U.S. anniversary. In a smart teaser, Toyota plants the Prius MPV behind the standard Prius, so that all we can see is the added length and height.

The MPV model is expected to gain about 300 mm of length, which will help to accommodate an extra row of seats in the back, allowing for up to seven passengers. The billboard ad also demonstrates that the roof is higher and less sloped to provide more headroom and accommodate the rear-most passengers. Overall though, the Prius MPV's footprint isn't significantly larger than the current Prius', indicating that it shouldn't hurt fuel economy numbers too much.

The billboard appears to include puzzle pieces that could be pulled off to reveal the entire MPV. The only hard information offered by the billboard is the self-evident line "The Prius family is getting a whole lot bigger."

The Prius MPV is expected to share the same 98-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder gas engine and electric motor with the traditional Prius. However, rumors indicate that it will make a switch from metal-nickel-hydride battery to a lithium-ion model, increasing the all-electric range.

During its 13 years on the market, the Prius has sold more than two million units and has been introduced in over 70 countries worldwide. It is the best-selling hybrid to date. In the years that come, Toyota will be looking to capitalize on the success and name recognition of the Prius brand in expanding the line to include the MPV, a Yaris-sized model and a Prius Plug-In. Toyota hopes to start selling a million hybrids per year within the next few years.

Toyota put a picture of the bilboard teaser on the Prius' Facebook page. The Prius MPV is expected to make its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.


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