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Toyota Prius v

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The Toyota Prius v, a hybrid with a five-seat MPV bodystyle, has been launched at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

It’s a full hybrid model, powered by Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive, and has 50 per cent more interior space than a Prius hatchback.

It’s due for market launch in the USA this summer, but it’s not due in the UK yet.

The v in the Prius v name is supposed to stand for versatility. The car uses the same platform and full hybrid powertrain as the current generation Prius hatchback. However it has a more flexible design, which Toyota hopes will meet the needs of “growing families with active lifestyles”.

Although the Prius v looks very similar to the Prius, it has a completely new design, which achieves a low, 0.29 coefficient of drag, despite offering 970 litres of loadspace behind the rear seats.

As well as the ability to be reclined through 45 degrees and 60:40 split-folding, the second row seats have slide adjustment, making it easier to get in and out of the vehicle. The front passenger seat can also be folded flat to allow longer items to be carried.

The Prius v will be available with a new Toyota-developed resin panoramic sunroof that has an 18 kg weight saving compared to glass roofs of the same size, while giving excellent heat insulation performance.

The Prius v is expected to achieve the best fuel efficiency of any SUV, crossover or estate on the US market, and produce 66 per cent fewer smog-forming emissions than the average US new vehicle.

The Prius v shares the same features as the Prius hatchback, including Normal, Power, Eco and EV driving modes, push button start and e-CVT electronic gear shift.

The Prius v will also be one of the first Toyota models to offer a new multimedia system that links with the owner’s mobile phone to give navigation, entertainment and information services.

The Prius c, a concept city car, and the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, are also on the Toyota stand at Detroit.