2012 Toyota Prius Plus first 7 seat minivan full hybrid

Toyota has announced the sales start of the Prius (Alpha) on the Japanese market. The European version of this car, which will debut at Frankfurt Motor Show (13-25 September), will be at Europe showrooms by mid-2012 as Prius + (plus) and will be the first full hybrid MPV with seven seats in the European market.

The Prius +, compared to the Alpha version is 15.5 cm longer, 3 larger, 8.5 higher and comes with a increased wheelbase of 8 cm. The European Prius will also have only the version seven seats, which are arranged in three rows, while the Japanese Alpha has both  5 and 7 seats. The design features a sleek style with a drag coefficient of 0.29. Regarding the interior, stands out the panoramic roof made of synthetic material saving 40% of weight compared to a conventional glass. The new format with the third row of seats made possible to install a lithium ion battery between the two seats of the second row, without compromising passenger comfort and load space.

The Prius + features the latest transmission Hybrid Synergy Drive with the same driving unit of the Prius sedan. As on the standard version, available three driving modes: Ev, which uses only electric power on short distances, Eco, to optimize the efficiency of the hybrid system and minimize both fuel consumption and emissions; Power, to get the greatest performance.

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