In response to the more aggressive competition in its segment, Toyota will be expanding the hybrid offering to more of its models. A new line of Prius hybrids was presented at the North American International Auto Show in January and a similar version of the Yaris is expected to be displayed at the Geneva Auto Show in March. It’s rumored that the hybrid Yaris will feature the same Hybrid Synergy Drive but will be more fuel efficient than the Prius.
When reports came out in 2009 of a hybrid version of the Yaris, it was said that the model can be driven for 40 km on a single liter of gas (2.5 l/100 km or 94 mpg), compared to 38 km/l for the Prius (2.63 l/100km or 89.4 mpg).
When it comes to the design, the model is expected to be totally different from the current version. In the teaser of the Yaris hybrid, the front end of the model was shown, displaying the new headlights (which use LEDs) and a completely redesigned bumper.
Toyota has confirmed that the Yaris hybrid will enter production at Toyota's Valenciennes plant, which is where the Yaris is manufactured.
Presenting the Toyota Prius+, an evolution of the original Toyota Prius but one that is longer, wider and higher. In fact, the dimensions of the Toyota Prius+ full hybrid have increased compared to a standard Prius: it is 135 mm longer, 30 mm wider, and 85 mm higher.
Its wheelbase is also longer by 80 mm. With these dimensions, the Toyota Prius+ could accommodate even seven people in three rows while still eking out a superb aerodynamic performance. Nonetheless, the Prius+ is immediately identifiable as part of the Toyota Prius family thanks to its distinct triangle silhouette.
The exterior design of this full hybrid leans on optimizing aerodynamic efficiency for improved fuel efficiency and handling stability. Prius+ features the latest interpretation of Toyota's trapezoidal Under Priority frontal design language with superb airflow management.
Its upper grille -- with chrome-plated horizontal trim – features a small opening to ensure a smooth airflow over the upper body. Its lower grill, meanwhile, features an enlarged opening to ensure better engine cooling efficiency. Moreover, the Prius+ makes use of lightweight, high tensile steel and aluminum for its construction and employs the Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain.