Toyota reveal the seven seater Prius – the Toyota Prius+ – at Geneva. Features the regular hybrid Prius drivtrain but with Lithium-ion battery pack. On sale 2012.
Toyota are bashing on with the extension of the Prius brand as well as the extension of the hybrid drive train in to their regular model range.
But probably the big Geneva news on the Toyota hybrid front is the public debut of the Toyota Prius+, the European version of the Prius V we saw at Detroit and the first Prius to offer enough seats to party in. Yes, this is a Prius People Carrier.
As far as we can tell the Prius+ gets exactly the same HSD setup as the regular Prius. Which means a 1.8 litre Atkinson cycle (which means slow) plus a small electric motor. Which is quite lethargic in the Prius, so how on earth it will cope in the much bigger Prius+ we have no idea. Actually, we have a very good idea. We just don’t like to think about it.
What the Prius+ does get though is beefier batteries. It’s the first non plug-in Toyota hybrid to get lithium-ion batteries which sit tidily under the back seats taking up far less room than the usual Prius batteries.
There’s the usual three driving modes on offer – EV, ECO and POWER – and we’d like to think the lithium-ion battery pack will allow the Prius+ to move off at a bit more than a snail’s pace in EV mode. We’ll see.
Disparaging comments apart, this is another very clever Transport Appliance from Toyota. It scores lots of green brownie points (Greenie Points?) and is perfect for a family full of eco-mentalists who get no joy from the journey.
On sale early 2012, but no prices yet.