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June 2011
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First Drive: All New 2012 Toyota Prius V
Toyota Masters The Art Of The Conjunctive
by Zach Bowman - - May 23rd 2011

The hybrid lexicon is a language built on a foundation of disjunction. Buyers may have phenomenal fuel economy or space for kids and cargo. You can embarrass your neighbors at the fuel pump or have a satisfying driving experience. In fact, opting for a battery pack is so fraught with compromise that it's almost as if hybrid manufacturers have completely deleted the conjunctive 'and' from their diction. Even so, that fact hasn't stopped buyers from seeking out electrified vehicles in increasing numbers.

Toyota has sold over one million Prius models in the United States since the vehicle first debuted a decade ago. That number blossoms to two million if global sales are accounted for, and the model's popularity has helped usher in a bloom of hybrid products from over 16 manufacturers. The technology may not be the perfect solution to our fuel economy concerns, but the Prius has taken off in ways that would have been difficult to imagine when the first gangly example whirred off the line.

Now Toyota is set to grow its Prius lineup with three new models. In fact, Bob Carter, Toyota division group vice president and general manager, says that the Japanese automaker fully expects the Prius family to become its best-selling product line in the near future – beating out internal combustion titans like the Camry and Corolla in the process. As a result, the company is planning to unleash of a barrage of products that include a model based on the Prius C Concept, a plug-in version of the hybrid and the taller, boxier Prius V. The thought is that a few simple variations on the company's successful battery-powered recipe will offer buyers solutions that the conventional Prius simply couldn't match. The only question is whether or not the will respond to what is effectively a few clever re-body jobs. If the Prius V is any indication, the answer is a resounding yes.

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