Toyota Australia is again beating the drum for its upcoming seven-seater Prius V wagon, with the mid-sized hybrid due to hit showrooms toward the end of May.
Power for the Prius V is provided by the familiar hybrid-drive 1.8 litre Atkinson-cycle petrol engine, mated to an electric motor.
While the petrol engine's power is rated at 73kW and 142Nm, the addition of the electric motor brings total system output to 100kW.
Unlike the nickel-metal hydride battery of the regular Prius, the Prius V will be equipped with a more powerful lithium-ion battery, stored under the centre console between the driver and front passenger.
"Due to the placement of the lithium-ion battery pack between the front seats, there is minimal compromise to the MPV-style seven-seat passenger accommodation or the load space," Toyota Australia's Matthew Callachor said.
"Families will have the flexibility of using all seven seats or folding down the third-row seats to convert the car into a five-seater with extra luggage space."
"Customers can also fold down the second-row seats to accommodate more cargo than many SUVs and wagons on the market today."
While fuel consumption figures have not been revealed, Toyota Australia expects the Prius V to offer better numbers "than most SUVs, wagons and crossover vehicles" in the local market.
At its international unveiling, Toyota announced fuel consumption figures of just 5.9 l/100km (40mpg) - nestling it between the 3.9 l/100km of the Prius and 6.0 l/100km of the (outgoing) Hybrid Camry. Local figures could vary, however.
The Prius V is based on the existing Prius hatch, but Toyota says the larger MPV has been given an extensive ground-up redesign, and all of its exterior panels are new.
The new seven-seater wagon is the largest model in the growing Prius family, measuring 135mm longer, 30mm wider and 100mm taller than the regular third-generation Prius.
Thanks to its stretched underpinnings and taller design, it offers up to 60 percent more storage space.
Internationally, the Prius V also features Toyota's new Entune multimedia system - the first Toyota model to offer the new technology.
The system offers support for mobile internet with Microsoft's Bing search engine built in. It will also offer live weather and traffic updates, along with monitoring the best fuel prices in town.
Watch for local pricing and specifications for the Prius V to be revealed closer to its May launch.
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