Honda's aim, in fact, is to drop about $2,000 from the Prius' price tag with its own new model, which TheCarConnection.com showed you before its Paris auto show debut this fall.
The new Honda hybrid, says Web site NextEnergyNews, is being pegged with a base price of less than $18,500, compared to the Prius' sticker of more than $20,000. How can they do it? With an Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system that's 50 percent less complex and costly than the units used in today's Honda hybrids.
Honda also plans to bring out hybrid versions of its CR-Z concept and its Fit city car, to go with the new hybrid-only offering and its existing Civic Hybrid sedan. Plans are for the new hybrid-only model to go on sale in early 2009, and to end up sized somewhere between the Fit and the Civic Hybrid, which would be a bit smaller than today's Prius.
The 2010 Toyota Prius, by the way, is headed for a Detroit auto show unveiling, and promises to be a bit larger and possibly, to be powered in part by solar panels (for accessories like air conditioning, we hear).