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Toyota Prius Compact Minivan Named 'Alpha', to Debut in March 2011
Toyota is charging ahead with its plans to expand the Prius range, with a compact people-mover as one of its top priorities. Now in its final stages of development, the Prius mini-minivan, dubbed Alpha, will be the first vehicle in the Prius line to use lithium-ion batteries when it debuts in March 2011. Just one-third the weight of the nickel-metal hydride battery pack used in the current production Prius sedan, the new lithium-ion batteries generate greater power and are already in use in the prototype Prius plug-in hybrid.

The Toyota Prius Alpha sits on the current Prius sedan platform but gets an extra row of seats in the back, turning it into a mini people-mover. Toyota settled on the Alpha name because the new addition simply adds 'alpha' to the Prius equation. The new Alpha's overall length will be stretched by about 300 mm (one foot) in contrast to the Prius, while its wheelbase will be extended 20 mm (just under an inch).

A five-seater version is also planned, but this variant will incorporate nickel-hydride batteries to save cost, according to one insider. That same source also tells us that Toyota are bullish about pricing and will offer the Alpha seven-seater from 2.5 million yen, undercutting many of the current seven-seater minivans on the market now.
 

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Prius is EVERYWHERE here in Iceland, but i don
 

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Boobze
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Why can't I have a prius motor in a body like the celica (just as a general example). Like why does it have to be some 4 door mini-mini-van looking thing. If hippies want me to stop poluting they have to stop making their cars look so damn ugly.
 

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Why can't I have a prius motor in a body like the celica (just as a general example). Like why does it have to be some 4 door mini-mini-van looking thing. If hippies want me to stop poluting they have to stop making their cars look so damn ugly.
Because people are dumb. If it looks fun it obviously kills the environment. Cars are very much divided into sports cars and green cars (at least in perception), because people would not believe that a sports car could be green. Basically putting a Prius motor in something that did not look like a Prius, or a Camry, would not sell like the Prius does.

Plus the Prius is form following function, so you have to give it props for that, even though it is hideous.
 

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Boobze
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Because people are dumb. If it looks fun it obviously kills the environment. Cars are very much divided into sports cars and green cars (at least in perception), because people would not believe that a sports car could be green. Basically putting a Prius motor in something that did not look like a Prius, or a Camry, would not sell like the Prius does.

Plus the Prius is form following function, so you have to give it props for that, even though it is hideous.
But if green is the future, then shouldn't they broaden their market appeal? Yea sports car markets are smaller, but there is still a market. That's like saying what soccer mom is going to buy a porsche? But look at the cayenne.

I have yet to hear anyone, even green fvckheads, look at a prius and say "damn...that's sexy... i want that." Automakers know it. So the only answer is that they keep their product breathe/depth low to focus only on r&d.

I'd like to say that improving the looks would make me want one, but that just meant I could justify GETting one. I still would like to hear my engine... not wonder if someone is sleeping under my hood.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update!

2012 Toyota Prius Alpha Hybrid Minivan Scooped?
Spotted out in California following a new Lexus CT200h with its logos covered, the camouflaged minivan seen here - said by Nick to be "about the size of a Mazda 5" - appears to be wearing a Prius-esque front fascia and doesn't look to fit anywhere else in the lineup.

As you can see in our photo gallery after the jump, the minivan and the Prius also seem to share a similar design for the windshield, front window line and tail lamps.

If earlier reports from Reuters and Japan's Nikkei daily are correct, the Prius MPV will end up housing three rows of seats with space for up to seven passengers and be powered by in-house developed lithium-ion batteries (which may later be manufactured with help from Panasonic).


 

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I think the new Prius looks great. I guess I'm alone on this.
Your not alone Kanga. The new Prius looks great. The old Prius also looked good. Wish the Corolla could look as good. Lot of people bought the Prius not only cause it was a hybrid but because it was the best looking hybrid that looked like a hybrid.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Update!

New Toyota Prius MPV Plays Hide and Seek on Billboard
Toyota not only confirmed the car at a dealer conference in Las Vegas last week, but the Japanese automaker also put up this billboard that shows the Prius MPV hiding behind the current Prius liftback with the tagline "The Prius family is getting a whole lot bigger." The billboard picture was uploaded on the company's dedicated Toyota Prius Facebook page.

According to Autonews, Toyota execs told dealers at the Las Vegas conference that the minivan version of the Prius will be joined by a smaller Prius-badged hybrid model, with both cars scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. by 2013.

The report added that within the next 18 months, Toyota / Scion dealers will also see a redesigned Camry, the Scion iQ minicar and the production version of the FT-86 rear-wheel drive sports car making their way into showrooms.
 

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I think Toyota reached into the Wish platform. Although the Wish is slightly longer, you can spot some of the similarities.



 

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Discussion Starter #17
I think Toyota reached into the Wish platform.
Good eye.

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Discussion Starter #18
Update!

Toyota Prius MPV Revealed
Now, the first image of the Prius MPV has leaked onto the web (this was published on the Autopareri forum - account required). As you can see, the people-moving incarntion of the Prius doesn’t come with major styling changes. In fact, its higher roof line gives it a less interesting appearance.

The Prius MPV should make its world debut in Detroit at next year’s North American International Auto Show. Toyota confirmed that it will introduce a new member of the Prius family at the event. However, the company did not offer a name for the future car, only mentioning that it will offer a higher level of comfort, style and versatility.

Earlier media reports indicate that the Prius MPV will use three rows of seats and be able to accomodate seven passengers. In addition to that, the vehicle might come with an extra battery pack for the current hybrid powertain, which will be stored under its floor. This could mean plans to offer the vehicle as a plug-in.
 

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Daddy Daycare
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Is that an official release photo? Looks exactly like the one in the OP. The Wish looks better.
 
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