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Prius Plugin C 2012 Achieves 53 MPG with $19K Price

01/13/2012 06:35 PM ET

Prius Plugin - Prius C was introduced at this years North American International Auto Show and will be one of the reasons why Toyota will be busy this year as it spotlights its new plugin hybrid concept car that steps outside of familiar bounds with the NS4 model, and the Japanese automaker also announced 19 new or refreshed vehicles in the United States.

The Prius C release date will be March 2012 featuring a new Hybrid Synergy Drive system plugin car that can travel 53 mpg city, the highest city rating for any vehicle without a plug, weighing in at just under 2,500 pounds and the price for this fuel efficient vehicle will be less than $19,000.

Also on the showroom was the new NS4 Plug-In Hybrid Concept and design looks nothing like its traditional style Prius, the same look they’ve kept since rebooting the car’s legacy about six years ago.

Toyota says the hybrid concept signals a new design direction that abandons the rather boxy lines of the Prius for a shape defined by elegant, graceful curves and a simple, uncomplicated look.

The NS4 projects a sleek, aerodynamic profile with a low height and cabin-forward tilt with a glittering paint job. Toyota says it hopes to “create and emotional connection with consumers” by plugging into the typically overheated car show talk, and that’s why there’s no denying that the NS4 is a much more handsome car than the standard Prius, and the attendees loved it.

So if it’s not a Prius, what is it?

Toyota is playing this one rather close to the vest. Other than saying the NS4 is a precursor of a future car Toyota may introduce worldwide by 2015, details about what’s under the hood have been tough to come by. We do know, however, that the NS4 is equipped with Toyota’s next-generation hybrid drive system, which the company claims will be lighter and more compact than the one used in the Prius and while “better mileage” was announced, there are no specific details yet.


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