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The Toyota Prius hybrid, currently a single model, is turning into a family of derivatives and Toyota's Detroit Motor Show effort saw the company release bigger and smaller versions of the Prius.
While the smaller version, dubbed Prius C, is strictly a concept car at this stage, the Prius V is a full production model and it's bigger and more practical than the conventional Prius.
Prius V uses the exact same platform and Hybrid Synergy Drive system as the Prius, with an electric motor mated to a 1.8-litre Atkinson Cycle petrol engine to procure a total system output of 100kW.
The difference is in the packaging, where the V's more practical, MPV-like design results in over 50 percent more boot space than in the Prius, according to Toyota. Unfortunately, it remains a five-seater although Toyota does claim very generous rear legroom.
Sliding second row seats allow for easier ingress and egress and rear-storage flexibility, with a 45-degree recline for greater comfort. The 60/40 split, folding rear seats present four different seat arrangements and a fold-flat front-passenger seat accomodates extremely long cargo.
Also available, and a Toyota-first, is a resin Panoramic View moonroof (with power retractable sun shades) that’s 40 percent lighter than normal glass roofs and it also claims to provide excellent heat insulation.
What's more, the Prius Y will be one of the first Toyotas to get the Entune multimedia system, an innovative device that leverages the mobile phone to provide a richer in-vehicle experience with fully integrated and wireless upgradeable navigation, entertainment and information services.
At the opposite end of the Prius scale, the Prius C remains strictly a concept for now, and although it looks almost identical to previous Toyota hybrid concepts, it now has the Prius name and Toyota has divulged that it previews a small and affordable hybrid that Toyota plans to introduce in 2012.