The hy­brid fam­ily plan

There’s a facelift but no heart trans­plant as the Prius goes plu­ral

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

that will not in­flu­ence Australia. ‘‘ We’re go­ing with Prius. One Prius or 20 Prius,’’ says Toy­ota Australia spokesman Mike Breen.

‘‘ In Amer­ica they wanted peo­ple to start think­ing about a big­ger Prius fam­ily.

‘‘ They wanted them to get their heads around (the idea of) more than one Prius.’’

The fam­ily ex­pan­sion means more for fam­i­lies and less for younger sin­gles.

‘‘ We’ve got Prius V, with a third row of seats, and the Prius C, which is a Yaris-sized hy­brid,’’ says Breen.

He be­lieves the ex­plo­sion on the Prius front is just a co­in­ci­dence, not a strat­egy to combat the grow­ing suc­cess of fru­gal diesel cars in Australia.

‘‘ It’s just the pe­riod that it takes to de­velop the cars. It’s just co­in­ci­dence that they are all ar­riv­ing at a sim­i­lar time.’’

The changes to the ex­ist­ing Prius— only 822 were sold last year, against 1611 in 2010— are in­tended to give the car a freshen up and more po­ten­tial in show­rooms. ‘‘ We’ll have it here, on sale, around early March,’’ says Breen.

The body struc­ture is stiffer, but the big­gest changes peo­ple will no­tice are a bolder nose with LED run­ning lamps and a larger grille open­ing to make the car a lit­tle less bland.

In­side, there are new seats, new up­hol­stery and soft-touch plas­tics in places where the sur­faces were pre­vi­ously hard.

The stiffer body is claimed to al­low a firm­ing of the sus­pen­sion and changes to the steer­ing set-up to trans­mit bet­ter road feel.

Dy­namic di­rec­tions: The Prius will have a smaller vari­ant and a peo­ple-mover ver­sion

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.