Toyota’s Prius nuclear family gains another member with the Prius c, and you can call it the Prius Lite: all the hybrid goodness, but half the calories! Or the Prius Fun Size, showing up in leftover Halloween candy bags soon—after the Tokyo Auto Show anyway, where a production model will be unveiled.
Call it what you will, the Prius c is a simple idea: Take the regular Prius’s hybrid drivetrain and shoehorn it into a smaller hatchback designed to compete against the subcompact class. About the size of a Yaris, the Prius c is slated to be more efficient than its siblings, owing to its smaller size and less powerful engine. Toyota hasn’t released specific power figures yet, but they claim it will reach 50 mpg in the city.
If it does, it will be a hell of a city car. The Prius c will also offer Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel controls, nine airbags standard, and Toyota Entune as an option. Entune brings smartphone access for traffic, dinner reservations, movie tickets, Pandora Internet Radio, voice recognition, and text messaging capabilities.
Look for the Prius c at the Tokyo Auto Show if you’re headed that way. But for the rest of us Americans, Toyota will introduce the U.S. version in Detroit next January.