Toyota to unveil Prius family at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 16, 2010

According to the latest reports from Automotive News, it appears that Toyota is set to develop a "family" of Prius cars which will include a smaller, lower-priced version and a larger, family vehicle.

According to Bob Carter, the U.S. sales chief for the Toyota brand, the Japanese manufacturer will have more to say about this in January, at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. Bob Carter also added that the new cars will be priced lower than those of competitors.

"Some consumers have a need for more space, more capacity. Other people are looking for something a little smaller and perhaps lower priced," said Bob Carter, the U.S. sales chief for the Toyota brand. "That's the concept of the family of Priuses."

For those who don’t know, Toyota and Tesla will also reveal tomorrow at the 2010 LA Auto Show, the electric version of the RAV4. The new car will go on sale next year, but only in a handful of U.S. states.

"Initially you will see the focus in areas where there are regulations that should help drive the market," Carter said at the Reuters Global Autos Summit in Los Angeles on Monday.

Though Toyota has been introducing its full hybrid powertrain systems to new segments via the Auris Hybrid, Yaris Hybrid and other such models, it’s the Prius that continues to famously represent its technology.

The new Toyota Prius has been improved inside-out. Its body shell has been redesigned and its improved cabin offers a superior sensorial experience. Its equipment, instrumentation, navigation and affordable multimedia systems have all been upgraded as well. As such, there are the new and improved Toyota Touch, Toyota Touch & Go Plus and Toyota Touch Pro.

Toyota Prius is still rightly regarded as an innovative technological leader. Each new generation brings new, cutting-edge and even futuristic features to its market segment.

Third generation Prius introduced in 2009 features a Head-up Display which shows vital information on the windscreen base via a projector. The speed, Eco Drive Monitor and status of the Pre-Crash Safety and Active Cruise Control systems (when installed) are all shown.

Drivers can manage the audio system, air conditioning and ECO Drive Monitor through a Touch Tracer display switch on the steering-wheel, and they don’t have to look elsewhere or take their hands off the wheel.

The optional Pre-Crash Safety system works closely with the Adaptive Cruise Control and anticipates potential collisions through sensors beneath the front grille. The system automatically activates a range of smart safety features: pre-tensioning seatbelts, triggering the audible Brake Assist alarm, and, in inevitable collision situations, braking automatically. Potential overall collision damage is then minimised.

New Toyota Prius can be parked to a selected area more easily through automatic manoeuvres guided by the Intelligent Parking Assist system. This integrates information from ultrasonic sensors and the rear view camera to determine the necessary steering movements to reverse into the parking area. Vehicle speed is all the driver needs to control.

Additionally, the third generation Prius is the first vehicle ever to combine a solar ventilation system (that prevents increases in cabin temperature when parked) with remote controlled air conditioning (which cools the cabin for a maximum of three minutes prior to boarding. It is powered by the large capacity hybrid battery).

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