The UK managing director of Toyota, Miguel Fonseca, has told Autocar that it won't be opening a green Prius sub-brand. But he did establish that a series of fresh Prius body styles are forthcoming, designed to support Toyota's third-generation hybrid saloon when it goes on sale late in 2009.
Although Fonseca will not provide confirmation for the body styles that can be expected, but Autocar comprehends that an estate variant is possible and that a hybrid MPV is most likely.
The stock variant of the succeeding Prius is scheduled to make its introduction at the Detroit motor show early next year, before becoming available for sale towards the last part of 2009.
There won't be any revelation of new body styles until late 2010 at the earliest. Talks about the succeeding Prius would adopt lithium-ion battery technology at some stage of its lifespan was overturned by Fonseca.
Although he recognized that powerful, efficient lithium-ion batteries were a direction of the future, the engineers of Toyota do not believe they are currently efficient or durable enough to enter mass-production.
In contrast to the present car, the latest Prius will be faster, larger and more efficient. It will employ Toyota's new-generation Hybrid Synergy Drive, combining longer-lasting batteries and more powerful electric motors with a more efficient 1.5-liter engine.
There are conjectures that the Prius saloon will attain more than 90mpg. That will be established in Detroit come January. The current nagging question is, who is next? Typically, the Detroit Auto Show has been the event where the locals bring out better cars.
With the financial climate appearing so bleak over the Detroit auto industry, it won't be a surprise if they too will forgo the glitz and glitter. If they're getting fried for taking a private jet to Washington, just think about the field day that would be had over excessive expenditure productions that only benefit reporters.