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    Thread: Toyota Prius minivan coming in 2011

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      Toyota Prius minivan coming in 2011

      We've been hearing the rumors for over a year, and it's now looking increasingly likely that Toyota is getting ready to launch a new hybrid minivan that will wear the Prius nameplate. If true, this would be the first completely new vehicle added to the Prius stable, where it would join the well-known hatchback sometime in 2011.

      According to Reuters (which is citing the Japanese Nikkei), this new Prius hybrid minivan may be the first such vehicle from Toyota equipped with an in-house developed lithium ion battery pack. The three-row vehicle, which we can only presume would also have sliding doors, would potentially seat up to seven people, expanding Toyota's hybrid technology further into the family-use market.

      No other details are available other than the notion that Toyota would like to keep the price close to that of standard minivans currently on the market.
      Source :: Report: Toyota Prius minivan coming in ... ; Autoblog
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      Toyota is charging ahead with its plans to expand the Prius range, with a compact people-mover as one of its top priorities. Now in its final stages of development, the Prius mini-minivan, dubbed Alpha, will be the first vehicle in the Prius line to use lithium-ion batteries when it debuts in March 2011. Just one-third the weight of the nickel-metal hydride battery pack used in the current production Prius sedan, the new lithium-ion batteries generate greater power and are already in use in the prototype Prius plug-in hybrid.

      The Toyota Prius Alpha sits on the current Prius sedan platform but gets an extra row of seats in the back, turning it into a mini people-mover. Toyota settled on the Alpha name because the new addition simply adds 'alpha' to the Prius equation. The new Alpha's overall length will be stretched by about 300 mm (one foot) in contrast to the Prius, while its wheelbase will be extended 20 mm (just under an inch). A five-seater version is also planned, but this variant will incorporate nickel-hydride batteries to save cost.Toyota are bullish about pricing and will offer the Alpha seven-seater from 2.5 million yen, undercutting many of the current seven-seater minivans on the market now.

      Inheriting the Prius' 1.8-litre Atkinson-cycle petrol engine and THSII hybrid system, the new model's gasoline engine will generate 98 horsepower while the electric motor is expected to produce 81 horses. The maximum combined power output will be 135 horsepower. Fuel economy will likely be slightly less than the current Prius sedan's 50 mpg combined, due to the Alpha's extra size and weight. By Motortrend
      Try walking into YOUR car rather than crawling. For me walking is always best ---GURU SHISHIR

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