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American Prius V to get old-school batteries, Japanese version to get fancy Li-ion ones

Tim Stevens
03.13.11
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We'd rather see a more interesting Prius before we see a bigger one, but it's the bigger one that comes first. The taller Prius V that was unveiled in Detroit is said to begin hitting Japanese showrooms next month, priced at ¥3 million (about $37,000) and packing an all-new Li-ion battery in the floor. This is different than the nickel metal hydride pack found in the current Prius, a smaller and lighter design that leaves room for a third row of seats. When the car hits the US, though, we'll get a bigger set of cells like the one in the current Prius, meaning the American version won't have those seats in the back. Irritating? A little, but the version we'll be getting will also be available in Japan, where it will sell for almost $10,000 less than the Li-ion version. For ten grand in savings we'd probably skip the rear seats too.

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