I’m becoming more and more of an alternative energy buff and the Toyota Prius has me drooling more and more. Information about the next generation Prius has officially been leaked according to Edmunds Auto Observer. Here’s what we know.
* The next Toyota Prius will be unveiled at the Detroit auto show in January 2009.
* The gen-three Prius will be bigger and more powerful. The engine will grow from 1.5 liters to 1.8 liters—giving a boost in horsepower from 110 to 160—and the body will be three to four inches longer and about an inch wider.
* The combined U.S. fuel economy rating will exceed 50 mpg, by keeping the weight down to current levels and re-engineering the powertrain to extend the range of all-electric gas-free driving.
* As previously reported, the next Prius will not offer plug-in capabilities and will continue to use nickel metal hydride batteries, rather than switching to lithium ion batteries. Also, there’s no definitive word on Toyota plans to offer the Prius in a range of models, from compact to wagon to small SUV.
While these new features will I’m sure increase the pricetag, it will make this car more of a ‘family’ vehicle that could become a solid mainstream car to those who hate paying 4 dollars at the pump. I’m envisioning government kick backs to family who purchase hybrid technology over the next 12 years to help curb our current energy crisis. Thus pushing up the sale of cars like the Toyota Prius and Honda’s line of hybrids.
About the time the government starts paying me to buy a car is the time I start stocking up on a few hybrids.