While it may be remarkably similar to the Prius V concept vehicle shown at the 2011 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in January, the production version of the new Toyota Prius hybrid wagon – as yet unnamed – will be heading to the U.S. sometime after the model launches in Japan this April. That’s according to Automotive News, reporting on a preview and test drive for journalists in Japan where Toyota showed off the new Prius hybrid wagon.
Note that these photos show the 2012 Toyota Prius V concept. No official photos of the production Prius hybrid wagon have yet been released by Toyota.
As yet unnamed, the new Prius gasoline-electric hybrid wagon is heavier at about 220 pounds and sits about 1.2 inches higher than the standard Prius. Not that hybrid drivers expect a rocket-shot from zero to 60 mph, but the Prius hybrid wagon will be a little short of the 9.8-second time of the standard Prius. And that little height addition means better outward visibility for the driver. The Prius hybrid wagon is also longer and wider than the standard Prius.
Automotive News indicates that Toyota is aiming at the crossover market in the U.S. with the new Prius hybrid wagon. This seems like an altogether appropriate strategy. There’s better cargo space in the extended rear, and the new hybrid Prius wagon will also reportedly feature an optional polycarbonate panoramic moonroof – the largest moonroof in Toyota’s lineup.
While the new Prius hybrid wagon will come in two configurations – a two-row five-seater and three-row seven-seater that was recently shown at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show – only the two-row version will make it stateside. Japan will get both versions.
As for other similarities with the current third-generation Prius, the new hybrid wagon shares the same platform, engine and hybrid drivetrain. But fewer than half of the components are the same.
When the Prius hybrid wagon is available here, Family Car Guide will be all over it to bring you the latest news and information on what may be a green family vehicle choice for many American consumers. As of yet, no U.S. pricing has been released.