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Reports of the Toyota Prius V’s delay have been greatly exaggerated. According to the company, the Prius V is on track for a U.S. fall debut, after all.
The Prius V had been previously reported to be delayed across all markets, due to the Japanese earthquake. But a brief note from Toyota USA’s Torrance, California headquarters stated that American deliveries of the hybrid minivan/wagon will start in the fall, as previously planned.
The Prius V promises 60 percent more cargo room than the current Prius and aims to deliver 42-mpg city and 38-mpg highway for a combined total of 40-mpg using the same hybrid synergy drive as found in the current Prius.
In Japan, however, the Prius alpha (as it’s known over there) will still be delayed, due to the earthquake.
GALLERY: Toyota Prius V
Reports of a Prius MPV model aren’t new, but now comes word that the car will be call the Prius Alpha. Set to go on sale next March, the seven-seat Prius will ride on a stretched version of the current Prius platform that is almost a foot longer. The car was first previewed in the Prius Hybrid X Concept (above).
Power will come from the same 1.8-liter hybrid setup used in the standard third-generation Prius, although there’s the possibility that Toyota could opt to use a mode advanced lithium-ion battery pack. If that does happen, expect even more impressive fuel economy. Otherwise the slightly taller and heavier Prius Alpha will be just a little less efficient.
Toyota has announced it intends to expand the Prius name into a whole line of standalone hybrid models, which is also likely to include a smaller Prius model based on the FT-CH Concept.