Toyota is capitalizing on the success of its hybrid Prius by releasing 8 new body styles–the first of which will be a compact van. Dubbed “Alpha”, the MPV will launch in Spring 2011. Now larger families will finally be able to use the Prius, too!
The van will essentially be a stretched-out version of the current Prius model, except it will have a third row of seats and a lithium-ion battery pack (unlike current models). The overall vehicle length will extend by a foot, while the wheelbase will extend under an inch. Unfortunately, the larger size of the MPV means that it won’t be quite as fuel-efficient as the Prius, which gets 50 mpg.
Toyota also plans to release a 5-seater MPV that uses nickel-metal hydride batteries to cut down on cost. Details remain scant about that model, which probably won’t be released until after the Alpha version. Stay tuned.