2012 Toyota Prius C debuts at NAIAS
The Japanese automaker Toyota has officially unveiled the Prius C compact hybrid hatchback at this year’s edition of the Detroit Motor Show. This is the fourth member in the Prius family and will be the most affordable hybrid from Toyota, with a base price tag of less than $20,000.
The car is considerably smaller in comparison to the mid-size Prius hatchback and Toyota expects that it will have a combined EPA rating of 50 mpg. The automaker is highlighting the C’s 53 mpg EPA rating which is the highest one among non plug-in cars commercialized in the United States. Its highway rating is of 46 mpg, which means that the combined rating is 50 mpg.
Toyota has said that the new Prius C is a subcompact model and it is 19 inches shorter in comparison to the regular Prius hatchback, almost 2 inches lower and 2 inches narrower. It will also be more than 500 pounds lighter than the standard Prius hatchback. According to the automaker, every single element of the Hybrid Synergy Drive system has been redesigned in order to lower the weight and the size of the parts. This more compact hybrid system is also implemented in the European version of the Yaris Hybrid.
The company has installed the fuel tank and the nickel-metal-hybrid battery pack under the rear seat, allowing for a deeper rear load bay in comparison to the one available for the bigger Prius hybrid which has its battery pack located under the car’s rear deck. According to Toyota, the C is capable of offering 17.1 cubic feet of cargo.
Toyota’s new model features an Atkinson Cycle 1.5-liter gasoline power unit that generates 73 hp and comes with a 60 hp (45 kW) electric motor-generator, which means that the total output is of 99 hp. Just like all of the recent Prius models, the driver of the C can switch between Normal, Eco and EV drive modes. At speeds of up to 25 mph, the 2012 Toyota Prius C can travel for less than a mile.
Scheduled to go on sale this spring, the car will be available with four different trim levels, while the cheapest model will set you back somewhere around $19,000. As standard, the car will feature a generous 3.5-inch color TFT information display, as well as iPod connectivity via USB port and Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone capabilities.
Also in the car’s standard configuration will be the automatic climate control, remote keyless entry, along with telescoping and tilting steering wheel with built-in audio controls. Those who want extra goodies can get the Prius C with 16-inch alloy wheels, a navigation system and Display Audio with the company’s own Entune infotainment and connectivity system.
Source: Toyota via Green Car Reports
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