Toyota is expanding its family of Prius models with the presentation of the all-new Prius V minivan that will join the current, third-generation Prius as well as the forthcoming Prius Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHV), starting from late summer 2011.
The Prius V shares the same platform and hybrid drivetrain as the regular, five-door model, however, Toyota claims the minivan will feature over 50-percent more interior cargo space than the current Prius.
According to the Japanese automaker, the new model "has been designed from the ground up, with a shape that evolved from Prius rather than being an elongated version."
Inside, the Prius V offers seating for five with increased headspace and visibility, as well as 34.3 cubic feet of cargo space. The 60/40 split, folding rear seats allow for four different seat arrangements, while a fold-flat front-passenger seat allows for longer cargo.
In a first for a Toyota vehicle, the Prius V will offer an available lightweight resin moon roof with retractable sunshades, boasting a 40-percent reduction in weight compared to conventional glass roofs of the same size.
Furthermore, the hybrid minivan will also be the first vehicle to offer Toyota's all new, Entune multi-media system that debuted last week at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The new system supports mobile apps, such as Bing, OpenTable, and movietickets.com, as well as allowing access to travel-related services, such as live weather, traffic, fuel information (location and price), stocks, news and sports.
As mentioned, the Prius V features the same hybrid drivetrain as the regular Prius matting a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine with an electric motor.
Toyota said the Prius V will deliver estimated EPA fuel economy ratings of 42 mpg city, 38 mpg highway and 40 mpg combined.