2 March 2011

Toyota's Seven-Seat Hybrid : Prius+

Toyota has further expanded the Prius family with the world debut of the Prius+ seven-seater full hybrid at the Geneva Motor Show.

The new car brings the appeal of the Prius environmental credentials and advanced technology to the widest customer base yet.

As its name suggests, the Prius+ provides a significant increase in space and passenger accommodation with three, independent, split/folding second row seats and a 50:50 split-folding third row.

Yet it sacrifices none of the traditional attributes found in the Prius DNA, such as extremely low fuel consumption.

Prius+ is a new vehicle, designed from the ground up. Its exterior design hallmarks it as an evolution, rather than merely an elongated version, of the standard Prius.

The sleek, bold styling features an extended roofline with an integral, panoramic sunroof, retaining the iconic Prius triangle silhouette and awarding the Prius+ a low Cd 0.29 drag coefficient.

The trapezoidal front incorporates sharp-edged headlamps, turbulence-minimising aero-corners and an enlarged lower grille for improved aerodynamics and engine cooling.

Distinctive rear styling is highlighted by a practical, top hinged tailgate, intricate combination lamp clusters and a roof spoiler to further improve air flow.

Prius+ showcases the latest generation of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive® powertrain.

It features the first lithium-ion battery pack to be incorporated within a non-plug-in Toyota full hybrid.

The lithium-ion battery pack's compact dimensions make it ideal for installation underneath the centre console between the driver and the front passenger, making no impact on the seven-seat passenger accommodation or load space of the MPV-style interior.

As in the standard Prius, the Prius+ features three 'on-demand' drive modes to increase the capabilities of the full hybrid powertrain.

An EV mode allows for ultra-quiet running on electric motor power alone, resulting in zero fuel consumption and emissions.

An ECO mode maximises hybrid system efficiency and fuel economy. The POWER mode boosts system performance.

Maintaining its environmental and technological leadership for over a decade now, Prius remains the most advanced mass-produced full hybrid vehicle on the market.

Prius+ will significantly expand the Prius customer base and subsequent sales by targeting growing, environmentally conscientious families who require the space and flexibility of a larger, seven-seat vehicle.

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