Toyota Prius MPV Now Called Alpha; Roll Out Expected By March 2011

May 26, 2010, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

The MPV model of the Toyota Prius will be called the Alpha. The Alpha MPV will contain lithium-ion batteries and will be the first vehicle in the Prius range to do so. The Alpha will be released in two versions including a seven-seater with an additional row of seats in the last row. It is also larger in dimension as compared to the standard Prius with the wheelbase being larger by 3 cm and the overall length of the vehicle being longer by 30 cm.

The lithium-ion batteries used in the Alpha MPV are capable of higher power generation. As the vehicle is a hybrid, it uses a 1.8-litre IC engine that functions according to the Atkinson cycle and is capable of generating 98 horsepower. The electric engine is also estimated to generate 81 horsepower with the combined output of both systems estimated to be at 135 horsepower. However, the vehicle’s fuel consumption could be slightly higher than the standard Prius due to its bigger size.

Toyota has also planned to release a 5-seater version of the Alpha MPV. However, this version could contain nickel-hydride batteries in an attempt to keep the production cost low. The seven seater version of the Toyota Prius Alpha will be priced at 2.5 million yen, when it is launched in March 2011. More pictures below:

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