If there's one absolute truth to cars, it's this: next year's models will generally make you regret the one you just bought. Over at the Tokyo Motor Show, this standard will probably hold true, with Toyota set to launch a smaller-than-current-Prius in the form of the Prius C, or "Aqua". The C, which takes some interesting technological steps forward, packs a hybrid drivetrain, coupling an as-yet undisclosed "high-output" electric motor with a 1.5-liter gasoline engine. According to Toyota, this combination will yield over 50 miles per gallon in the city, the highest city fuel economy for any non-plug-in vehicle. Getting into more experimental territory, Toyota is also expected to unveil the FCV-R concept, this model previewing a hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle with room for four passengers and luggage space currently being targeted for a 2015 market launch. This, along with the FT-EV III (which will preview an upcoming electric version of the company's iQ model with a short-range battery-powered drivetrain) round out Toyota's morsels for the new model year. Stay tuned for additional pricing and release dates as they become available, and head down past the break to see what to expect from the new Prius.
Toyota Motor Show 2012 Preview Gallery
Among the Most Advanced Vehicles in its Class Will Debut at 2012 NAIAS
TORRANCE (Nov. 15, 2011) –Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., will offer a fuel-efficient hybrid at a more accessible price when the Prius c joins the Prius Family of vehicles in the spring of 2012. The U.S. debut of the Prius c will be next January at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
This highly anticipated subcompact member of the Prius Family will bring Toyota's renowned Hybrid Synergy Drive® technology to a new segment of buyers when it joins the third-generation Prius Liftback hybrid vehicle, the versatile new Prius v midsize hybrid vehicle and the Prius Plug-in Hybrid model, which will also debut next spring. Positioned as an entry into the Prius Family appealing to youthful shoppers seeking fuel efficiency, technology, and spirited driving dynamics in the subcompact segment, the Prius c will offer:
-Expected class-leading fuel economy better than 50 mpg in the city, which is the highest city mpg of any non-plug-in vehicle.
-Proven hybrid technology, with 14 years of heritage, available at a more accessible price.
-A high degree of convenience features and premium in-car electronics, uncommon in a five-door configuration, creating a less compromised compact-car experience
As with other Prius models, Prius c combines its revolutionary Hybrid Synergy Drive® with excellent aerodynamics to achieve outstanding fuel efficiency. The new Prius c is unique in the Prius Family with a more youthful expression and a sportier dynamic character that offers a more fun-to-drive experience. The vehicle's five-door format and flexible packaging will adapt to a broad range of owners' needs.
The Prius c offers an unexpected level of convenience, capability and technology in a compact hybrid-electric at an attractive price. Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity, steering-wheel audio controls, and nine airbags will be among the standard features on the 2012 Prius c.
In addition,owners will enjoy a new dimension of connectivity courtesy of the available Toyota Entune™ multimedia system. Entune™ leverages the mobile smartphone to provide a richer in-vehicle infotainment experience with fully integrated access to navigation, entertainment, and information services. It allows users to connect with popular apps such as Bing™, OpenTable.com, and movietickets.com. Entune™ also provides access to real-time information services, such as live weather, traffic, fuel information (location and price), stocks, and sports. The Prius c also offers voice recognition, music streaming, and email/text to speech capabilities.
Toyota Entune™ brings one of the largest selections of music options available to a vehicle, including iheartradio's 750+ stations and Pandora® internet radio's personalized music. In addition, the driver's personal songs from portable media players and iPods (via USB or Bluetooth® audio streaming), and more than 170 stations from SiriusXM™ satellite radio are also available.
Making premium technology available to compact-car shoppers, the Prius c offers superior fuel economy in a stylish, user-friendly package.
TOYOTA: FIVE WORLD PREMIERES AT TOKYO
Toyota today announced five world premieres for the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, including the prototype of its new compact sports car.
The unveiling of the stunning coupe will be joined by global debuts of the Prius C compact city car and three ground-breaking concepts - a next-generation hydrogen fuel-cell sedan, an ultra-compact electric car and a quirky vehicle known as the Fun-Vii.
The much-anticipated rear-wheel drive sports car is the culmination of the FT-86 series of concepts that have featured at motor shows around the world, including Australia.
A joint development with Fuji Heavy Industries, the car is destined to add appeal and excitement to the Toyota brand by reaffirming the joy of driving.
Toyota's return to the sports-car market is in response to an edict by global president Akio Toyota for the company to re-connect with younger buyers by producing fun-to-drive models.
The spiritual successor to Toyota's illustrious sports-car heritage that includes names such as Supra and MR2, the new coupe is due in Australian showrooms around the middle of next year.
Prius C (world premiere)
Ahead of the Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota has released the first official details of the Prius C, a compact city car that will be launched in Australia next year.
Prius C combines the features of a Yaris-sized car with a hybrid vehicle to deliver a fun-to-drive compact vehicle with excellent fuel economy.
The Australian launch of Prius C in the first quarter of 2012 is destined to bring the benefits of hybrid ownership to a much wider audience.
The body, at less than four metres long, promises nimble handling while its stylish proportions and low height are designed to enhance aerodynamic performance.
Prius C features a compact and lightweight hybrid system - a 1.5-litre petrol engine with a high-output motor - that achieves 35-40 kilometres per litre on the official Japanese test cycles.
Engine and hybrid components are arranged to deliver a low centre of gravity that contributes to spirited driving while the interior offers high levels of comfort and ample luggage space.
Prius C is due to be launched late next month in Japan, where it will be called Aqua.
Key dimensions of Prius C are: length 3995mm, width 1695mm, height 1445mm, wheelbase 2550mm, seating 5.
FCV-R (world premiere)
This concept model is a highly practical fuel-cell vehicle (FCV) that is planned for launch in about 2015.
It is fuelled by hydrogen, a promising source of CO2 emission-free energy that can be produced from a variety of sources and is easy to store and transport.
With the fuel-cell unit located beneath the specially designed body, the vehicle can accommodate up to four passengers and boasts impressive luggage space.
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) says the fuel cell stack, consisting of a 70MPa high-pressure hydrogen tank, has been improved to provide a cruising distance of approximately 700km under test conditions.
Key dimensions of the FCV-R are: length 4745mm, width 1790mm, height 1510mm, wheelbase 2700mm, seating 4.
FT-EV III (world premiere)
The latest in a series of electric concept cars, the FT-EV III is an ultra-compact and lightweight package suitable for short-distance trips.
Equipped with a lithium-ion battery, the FT-EV III achieves an estimated cruising range of 105km on a fully charged battery.
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) is developing electric vehicles with the aim of launching a car next year that is suitable for short-distance travel.
Toyota says electric vehicles with zero CO2 emissions are important eco-cars of the future that have the potential to replace cars fuelled by petrol.
Key dimensions of the FT-EV III are: length 3110mm, width 1680mm, height 1500mm, wheelbase 2000mm, seating 4.
Toyota Fun-Vii (world premiere)
This quirky concept vehicle heralds a future where people, cars and society are linked.
It is a key exhibit for the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show, which is being staged under the theme "Mobility can change the world".
Prius Plug-in Hybrid (Japan premiere)
The Prius Plug-in Hybrid, an environment-friendly vehicle that combines features from both pure-electric and petrol-electric hybrid vehicles, is equipped with a new, high-capacity lithium-ion battery that can be charged from a household outlet.
Able to operate as an electric vehicle on short trips and as a petrol-electric hybrid vehicle on medium to long trips, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid can be used regardless of battery charge status or the availability of charging infrastructure.
With this vehicle, TMC aims to address environmental issues such as the reduction of fossil fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and atmospheric pollution.
A production model is planned for launch by TMC in early 2012 with an EV cruising range on fully charged battery of 23.4km, positioning the plug-in hybrid as a leading next-generation eco-car coming after petrol-electric hybrid vehicles.
The plug-in hybrid vehicle represents the technology TMC considers best suited for widespread use to meet CO2 emissions restrictions and the diversification of energy.
Separately from the motor show, at nearby Mega Web, TMC will hold hands-on events that will allow visitors the opportunity to test-drive some of the display vehicles and experience future technologies.
TMC will also create a Tokyo Motor Show portal site (www.toyota.co.jp) to stream information from the show along with virtual events introduced on the GAZOO Metapolis site (http://metapolis.toyota.co.jp).