Tag: Toyota Prius C

The New and Improved 2016 Prius C 

October 12, 2015 lacarguy Prius c Tags: , , , , ,

Toyota updated the Prius C, it’s most compact hybrid vehicle. It offers more, has a more attractive look and is even more efficient than before. What’s not to love?

2016 toyota prius c
Handles Like a Compact

The Prius C is a very compact vehicle, and it certainly handles like one with it’s tiny 1.5 liter four cylinder engine. The engine runs on the Atkinson cycle to boost fuel efficiency further up the scale. The car manages 53 MPG, but with just 73 HP it’s a bit sluggish compared to the more sporty compacts out on te market. That being said, where else are you going to find a vehicle that gets this kind of mileage?

Drive on Electricity – But not too far!

The 2016 Prius C allows drivers to move around relying purely on electricity, but it’s only going to be useful to back out of your garage in the middle of the night without disturbing anyone, or to drive to a store right around the block because the car has just a one mile EV range at speeds of 25 MPH or less.

Three Different Driving Modes

While operating the Prius C you get to choose from three driving modes. The first, Normal, gives you the best power available with the vehicle, and it’s not too bad to drive around. The car picks up nicely and actually feels pretty perky for less than 100 HP. The next is Eco mode which saps a lot of that perkiness away from the vehicle, but successfully makes an efficient vehicle even more efficient. Finally there is EV mode that lets you drive around without burning any gas at all. Switching between the different modes gives you more control over how the vehicle handles overall.

Nice Safety Features

The Prius C is safer to drive than ever before thanks to technological safety advancements. It comes with automatic high beams that help keep the road visible, but won’t blind oncoming traffic in the least. The vehicle also has a pre-collisions system that will slow you down to reduce an impact if the vehicle believes you are going to crash. Finally there is lane departure assistant that helps you stay in between your lanes in case you are drifting off while driving, or just aren’t watching the road.

New Improved Look

The Prius C was always a bit short and blocky in design, that’s all changes with the 2016 version. It’s now longer and sleeker in appearance, giving it more of a sedan look. That should help improve appeal for the vehicle, giving buyers who were alienated by the looks of the old versions to something to consider.

Enhanced Interior Tech

Inside the 2016 Prius C you’ll enjoy a 6.1 inch touchscreen media system. It comes with an Aux jack for MP3 devices. It comes with a USB port as well for loading your media. The system has voice recognition and built-in Bluetooth support.

No pricing information is yet out for the 2016 Prius C, but it’s one of the more exciting products that Toyota’s offering, and should at least be considered by most people looking for a commuter vehicle.

A Candid Review of the Prius C Four

May 28, 2015 lacarguy Prius c Tags: , , , , ,

If you’re after a quality car that gets you around town without using much gas the Prius C is a good solid option. It’s not the sexiest car on the road, and it certainly isn’t the fastest, but that doesn’t stop it from being appealing. It’s a good value vehicle that you should consider if you’re trying to cut down on your gas consumption.

2015 prius c


Let’s be honest, when you climb behind the wheel of a Prius C 4 you aren’t hoping for high levels of performance. Instead you’re counting the gallons of gas that you save with each trip, and that’s exactly what this car is all about. Sure you won’t be accelerating very quick. After all, it only comes with a four-cylinder engine that manages a total of 99 lb.-ft. of torque at 4800 rpm. The car does get up to speed alright though and will travel at highway speeds without issue. The real notable thing about this vehicle is always going to be the fuel efficiency it offers and you should expect to average around 50 MPG with 53 in the city and 46 on the highway. If those figures don’t excite you just a little bit, you probably shouldn’t be buying this car.


The steering wheel of this Prius is a bit undersized and it doesn’t offer much feedback at all. You’ll enjoy a slightly numb driving experience while traveling down the road. The braking experience is similar to the steering. The regen braking gives you a mushy feel for the first three or four inches as the car makes the most of that lost momentum. After that point you’ll get hit with a sharp stopping motion. With practice you can improve the stopping feel of this Prius, but it definitely takes some getting used to. Finally the suspension is a bit rough. The Prius C is one of the budget models of the Prius and the suspension isn’t quite as pillow soft as some of the other models. This means you’ll feel those potholes a bit more and will find yourself trying to steer around them as much as possible. It’s probably better for your tires in the long run, but when you inevitably have to hit a bump you’re going to know it.


The Prius C Four is pretty affordable with a base price of just $25,300. It’s more than the Yaris, but you’re paying for the fuel economy increase with the increased rate. If you decide you want any additional extras such as larger wheels you’ll have to pay a few hundred for most, though this Prius does come nicely loaded with extras like an improved surround sound system and a high quality multimedia system.

Features Galore

The Prius C Four is one of the upscale trim levels and it’s still quite affordable. It comes packed with a top notch multimedia system and a unique feature that lets you know how economically you are driving while travelling down the road. You’ll get information about your acceleration and braking habits and over time you can learn to be a more efficient driver with this car. You’ll notice that some training with this little Prius can improve your fuel ratings while driving other vehicles as well.


This Prius is a nice looking vehicle and lends a slightly sporty edge to the well-known Prius silhouette. It comes with LED headlights and fog lights and has creases and accents in all the right places.


This little Prius comes with all the standard safety features you would expect, and has a top-notch safety rating. Still it isn’t going to be as safe as riding around in a big truck or SUV with all those other large vehicles out on the road, but that’s the price you pay for such stellar fuel efficiency figures.

If you’re in the market for something compact and efficient, you won’t find a better car than this Prius. It offers one of the highest fuel economy ratings in the industry, and it doesn’t look half bad for a Prius either.


LAcarGUY Presents The West Hollywood Auto Show On The Sunset Strip

November 9, 2012 lacarguy LAcarGUY News & Events Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

This Saturday and Sunday is The West Hollywood Auto Show on the World Famous Sunset Strip across from The Roxy. In addition to all the coolest new cars, come for the live entertainment, food, fun, photo booth and more surprises, and LAcarGUY is the presenting sponsor.

We will have nine vehicles and a salesman at this even both Saturday and Sunday from each of our stores involved, Fisker Santa Monica, Toyota Hollywood, Subaru Pacific, Lexus Santa Monica and Volkswagen Santa Monica. We will have our tent set up and small give aways available. The cars we will have on display will include:Toyota Rav 4

  • Toyota RAV4
  • Toyota Prius C
  • Subaru XV Crosstrek
  • Subaru Outback
  • Lexus ES
  • Lexus CT
  • Volkswagen Jetta
  • VW – Beetle
  • Fisker Karma

The event is free to the public and starts at 11am each day and runs until 5pm, and we expect huge crowds!

The location is on Sunset Blvd, Across the street from the ROXY Theatre. 8950 West Sunset Blvd.

Hope to see you out there!

Toyota Aims For North American Prius Production by 2015

May 4, 2012 lacarguy Green Auto Technology, HybridCars.com, Toyota Tags: , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

by: Zack McDonald – HybridCars.com

Toyota says it has plans to begin manufacturing the Prius in the United States for the first time. Last year, the carmaker recorded its 1 millionth Prius sale in the U.S., and despite supply shortfalls in the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, sold more than 136,000 Prii here for the full year. By 2015, the company expects annual North American Prius sales to reach 200,000 units, with total North American hybrid sales projected to hit 400,000 vehicles by that time.

Toyota executive, Koei Saga, told Auto News this week that the carmaker is currently scouting potential North American suppliers. “We are targeting 2015,” said Saga. “Around then we will probably introduce the next-generation Prius, so we are trying our hardest to realize local production of hybrid units then.”

The shift will hopefully spell the end of the dreaded Prius waiting list for American customers, a phenomenon that has been present during all the more major recent oil spikes in the U.S. Being able to meet demand when it is at its highest is one of the main reasons that Toyota started talking about adding production flexibility to the Prius line last year. Another reason is an overall desire on the part of the company to avoid the major losses suffered across the Japanese auto industry as a result of last year’s earthquake, which caused the carmaker to report its first quarterly loss in more than two years, and sent executives searching for ways to diversify their supply chains.

It’s been a long time since the Prius was a niche vehicle spotted mainly in California’s more liberal enclaves, and Toyota can no longer afford to lose potential sales to competing hybrids during production shortfalls. With the expansion of the platform to include not only the standard Prius but also the larger Prius v, the compact Prius c, and the Prius Plug-in, Toyota plans to make the Prius the best-selling vehicle platform in the world in the coming years.

Saga also told Auto News that Toyota plans to stick with nickel metal hydride batteries for the next generation Prius, despite moves by competitors to switch their hybrids to lithium ion. Still, the company says it could begin lithium ion battery production here in the United States to supply the Prius Plug-in and eventually other plug-in vehicle offerings.

First Drive: Toyota Prius c

February 23, 2012 lacarguy Green Auto Technology, High MPG Vehicles, Hybrid Vehicles, Prius c, Toyota Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

It’s been twelve years since the Toyota Prius first came on to the American stage. Thought of as a science experiment then, and in many ways it was, now in it’s third generation the Prius Liftback IS the face of Toyota.

While the hybrid and plugin electric market may only be 2.5% of all vehicle sales in the U.S., the Prius accounts for more than 50% of those sales. The most shocking statistic is that 96% of all Prius’ sold, are still on the road today. Looking to expand the sales of the Prius, Toyota have expanded the sub-brand of Prius into four models, with the goal of the Prius family of vehicles surpassing Camry in sales.

The first expansion of the Prius family was the v, not quite a crossover, yet more than a wagon, it was Toyota’s move to get growing and active families more space to fit their lifestyle without compromising fuel economy or the integrity of the Prius name. The Plugin Prius will be the current Liftback model that will have the ability to drive 15 miles on pure electric, then revert back to a standard Prius Hybrid once the charge has been depleted. The last component is the source of our review, and that is the Prius c. It is a B-segment car, which will be competing against the likes of Toyota’s own Yaris and iQ, along with the Mazda2, Ford Fiesta, Chevy Spark, Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent.

Powering the Prius c is an updated version of the venerable 1.5 liter inline four cylinder engine. It has been updated to improve efficiency with lighter weight valve springs, lighter tension weight piston rings along with a few other items like the elimination of an accessory belt so now that the power steering, air conditioning and water pump are all driven via electric motors to reduce drag and friction and improve fuel economy. This is paired with a Ni-MH battery pack that is about 2/3rds the size of the one found in the Liftback, which provides an additional 25.9 horsepower to the 73 horsepower engine. The transaxle in the Prius c is an all electric unit that has no belts.

Fuel economy is the raison d’etre in the Prius family and the Prius c will deliver that in spades. Rated by the EPA 53 city, 46 highway and 50 combined. We had the opportunity to drive for a short 25 mile loop that was an equal mix of surface roads and highway. On the surface roads we pulled down 63.5 mpg without really making an effort to maximize fuel economy, and at the end of the loop we had a combined 54.7 mpg, and that was while driving highway speeds of 70-75 mph. Keeping with the rest if the Prius family, the c also has start/stop technology, so that the car is running only when it needs to when stopped in traffic. If you are in stop and go driving, this is an excellent way to save a few extras drops of fuel.

Lest you think this B-segment car is cramped inside, it is not. Front seat passengers have plenty of room, no fear of rubbing shoulders with your passenger. For back seat passengers, two normal sized adults will be able to ride comfortably. We had the drivers seat set for us at 5’11”, then jumped in the back seat behind and were able to get in and out with no problem, and our knees were not touching the back of the driver seat either.

The rear seats do fold in a 60/40 arrangement allowing for good load flexibility, bicycles and snowboards will have no problem fitting inside. With the seats up there is 17.1 cubic feet of space in the hatch area, which should be more than enough room for day to day items, or runs to the grocery store.

In the upper trim levels Toyota have made Softex synthetic leather an option. Listening to their consumers, Toyota have eliminated the use of natural leather in the Prius family of cars. The Softext in our test car, was comfortable, had a quality feel to it, and was grippy so that we did not slide around in the seat.

There will be four trim levels to the Prius c, One, Two, Three and Four. Stepping up to trim level’s Three and Four will net you a smart key, which offers the ability to not have to take the key out of your pocket to get in the car, or need it for starting. The upper two levels also get you the top end audio system with navigation. It has a 6.1 in touch screen with AM/FM/SirusXM/HD Radio and also will play CD’s along with MP3 and WMA files through a six speaker system.

All trim levels have bluetooth as standard but trim levels Three and Four allow for advanced voice recognition. The top end audio system also includes Entune. Entune is a system that Toyota have developed that works with the data connection on your smart phone to supply Pandora, iHeart Radio, OpenTable, MovieTickets.com along with real time traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports scores and weather to you.

You register on a specific Toyota website with your cars VIN number, and then you can assign up to four different phones to the system so that everyone can taylor the system to themselves, if multiple people in a household share the car.

The Prius c also contains a 3.5 inch TFT display to the right of the offset digital speedometer. There are multiple levels of menus to explore within. Items like energy monitors, drive information, scoring the last 100 drives and how economical the current one is, 5 minute consumption. There is an ECO Savings level where you can program the current cost of gas in, and also the mpg of another vehicle to see how much you are saving with the Prius c. It also calculates the current cost of your current trip, and past trips, and brake it down into a cost per mile. It will also grade you on how economically you are driving and braking on a scale of 1-5 and display it in a bar graph.

Many people worry about safety in cars that are as small as the Prius c. To address this Toyota is including nine standard airbags along with items like ABS, traction control, vehicle stability control, brake assist, brake force distribution and smart stop.

Smart stop is a system that intervenes when both the brake and gas peddles are pressed at the same time. In a panic situation one might press down hard on both peddles without meaning to. The system senses this, and disengages the gas, it also incorporates a hill assist into the system so that if you are on a hill and stopped, you do not roll backwards when transferring from the brake peddle to the gas peddle.

Pricing for the Prius c in trim level One starts at $19,710, Level Two is $20,760, Level Three is $22,395 and Level Four is $23,990, all prices include the $760 destination fee. While this is certainly on the higher end of the B-Segment price structure, cars like Ford’s Fiesta can quickly top $20,000 as well once they are optioned up. The base price of the Prius c is about a $2,000 premium over the Yaris to give some context.

Out on the road the Prius c drives very well. While the handling can’t be called sporty, it is very competent. It is very agile, has a better ride quality than the Prius Liftback or v, and also transmits less road noise through the tires than the Liftback or v as well. The Prius c engineers took extra time to mitigate as much NVH from the car as possible and their work shows.

Acceleration in city traffic from 0-40 miles an hour is good, though not quick. Merging onto the highway the power can be best described as adequate. It is able to get on to freeways and merge without drama, and while you may feel you need to be going faster or accelerating quicker, once you look at the speedometer, you will see you’ve already gotten up to the speed of surrounding traffic. The car can engage an EV mode where it can run up to a mile with a max speed of 25 miles an hour.

The Prius c was able to run 75 miles an hour on the highway with no issues, it was not moved around by semi’s going past, it felt very stable, and the interior is quiet enough to hold a conversation in a normal tone of voice.

While the other versions of the Prius have never excited us all that much, we feel that the c is the first Prius that we can get behind. It truly was a fun and satisfying car to drive. In a time when gas is again approaching $4/gallon in the U.S., having a car that can pull down 50 mpg is an attractive proposition. And when that proposition asks very few compromises from you, it’s even more so. No the car is not a sports car, or a sporty car, what it is, is a small car that gets the job done, can be well equipped, and you don’t mind driving. While in the past, and even now with the Liftback and the v, the Prius’ could be described as automotive appliances, the c does not have that vibe, it feels like a car first, a hybrid second.

Toyota Announces Pricing for 2012 Prius c

February 8, 2012 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Designed to function as a city-friendly vehicle with an engaging driving experience, hatchback utility, and an EPA-estimated city fuel economy rating of 53 mpg, Prius c offers the highest city mpg rating of any vehicle without a plug. The all-new Prius c joins the Prius Family, which includes the third generation Prius Liftback, the versatile new Prius v and the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, which will be available in early 2012.

Unique Place in the Prius Family

A gateway into the Prius Family, the new Prius c will find favor with younger shoppers seeking a smartly designed, fuel-sipping subcompact car packing advanced drivetrain and in-car technology. The SULEV (Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) rated Prius c will offer engaging driving dynamics and superior urban maneuverability. When the 2012 Prius c arrives in showrooms in March 2012, this all-new hatchback will offer:
* The highest rated city fuel economy of any vehicle without a plug*; 53 mpg in the city, and 46 mpg on the highway, for a combined rating of 50 mpg
* A starting MSRP of $18,950 with a proven hybrid powertrain and premium technology
* A premium hybrid experience thanks to a wide array of convenience and advanced in-car electronics features, including a standard 3.5-inch full color TFT multi-information display, Bluetooth® hands-free phone capability, USB port with iPod® connectivity, and available Display Audio system with Navigation and Entune™

Prius c: Four Grades

The Prius c will be available in four grades, offering desirable features, equipment, and enhanced capability providing consumers compelling value. All Prius c models will be equipped with a Hybrid Synergy Drive 1.5-liter DOHC, 16-valve engine with VVT-i, a 60 hp permanent magnet AC synchronous motor, and a 144 volt nickel-metal hydride battery which generates 25.9 hp of electric propulsion for a total hybrid system net output of 99 horsepower. The Prius c will be equipped with 9 standard airbags, driver and front passenger Advanced Whiplash-Injury-Lessening seats and Toyota’s Star Safety System ™ that includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction control (TRAC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), and Smart Stop Technology (SST).

The Prius c One base grade will offer many standard features such as automatic climate control, tilt-telescopic steering wheel with audio, climate, multi-information display and Bluetooth® hands free phone controls; and remote keyless entry with illuminated entry.

The Prius c Two grade offers a 6-speaker audio system, variable intermittent windshield wipers, a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat with adjustable headrests, cruise control, engine immobilizer, center console with armrest and storage compartment, and a cargo area tonneau cover.

The Prius c Three grade enhances the technology in the vehicle with improved audio and connectivity. The Prius c Three includes a Display Audio system with Navigation and Entune™ that adds a 6.1-inch touchscreen, Sirius XM Satellite Radio capability (includes 3 month trial subscription to XM Select Package), HD Radio™ with iTunes® Tagging, USB port with iPod® connectivity and control, vehicle information with customizable settings, and advanced voice recognition. Toyota Entune™ includes Bing™ and Pandora®; real-time info including traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports, and stocks. Apps available spring 2012 at no charge include iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com and OpenTable®. Access to Entune™ services is complimentary for three years. In addition, the Prius c Three grade includes color-keyed outside door handles with touch- sensor lock/unlock feature, a tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio, climate, Multi-information Display, Bluetooth® hands free phone and voice command controls, a Touch Tracer Display, and a Smart Key System on the front doors and liftgate with Push Button Start and remote illuminated entry. The Prius c Three allows buyers to add 15-inch alloy wheels and a power tilt/slide moonroof with sunshade as optional equipment.

The Prius c Four grade is distinguished by its 15-inch, 8-spoke alloy wheels, Softex-trimmed heated front seats, color-keyed heated power outside mirrors with turn signal indicators, and integrated fog lamps. Optional equipment for the Prius c Four includes 16-inch, 8-spoke alloy wheels with 195/50R16 tires and power tilt telescopic moonroof with sunshade.

2012MY Prius c Pricing Sheet

PRIUS c ONE $18,950
PRIUS c TWO $19,900
PRIUS c THREE $21,635
PRIUS c FOUR $23,230

2012 Prius c Options and Packages

Available for Prius c Three:
Power tilt/slide moonroof with sliding sunshade – MSRP $850
15-inch 8-spoke alloy wheels with P175/65R15 tires- MSRP $390

Available for Prius c Four:
Power tilt/slide moonroof with sliding sunshade – MSRP $850
16-inch 8-spoke alloy wheels with P195/50R16 tires – MSRP $300
16-inch Alloy Wheel Package: combines 16-inch 8-spoke alloy wheels with P195/50R16 tires and power tilt/slide moonroof with sliding sunshade – MSRP $1,150

Available Exterior Colors:
Blue Streak Metallic
Summer Rain Metallic
Absolutely Red
Black Sand Pearl
Magnetic Gray Metallic
Classic Silver Metallic
Super White

Toyota Boosts Expected Prius Plug-in Efficiency Rating

February 6, 2012 lacarguy HybridCars.com Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

by Zack McDonald HybridCars.com

Toyota has upgraded its expectations for the 2012 Prius Plug-in’s official fuel economy rating, ahead of the vehicle’s March 2012 launch.

According to Toyota Division Group vice-president, Bob Carter, the 2012 Prius Plug-in returns 95 miles-per-gallon-equivalent (MPGe) in electric-only mode, and 50 mpg in hybrid mode. That’s a decent bump over Toyota’s previously announced numbers of 49 MPGe in electric-only mode and 49 MPG in hybrid mode. The revised figures were announced by Carter at a Toyota Prius C launch event in California this week.

At 95 MPGe, the 2012 Prius Plug-in essentially matches the rating of the 2012 Chevy Volt. For the 2012 model year, the EPA revised the Volt’s fuel economy ratings, increasing its electric mode rating from 93 to 94 MPGe.
The nearly identical efficiency ratings of the Prius Plug-in and Volt will inevitably lead to comparisons between the two leading plug-in hybrids—despite the vehicles’ divergent technology approaches, style, passenger and cargo space, and driving feel.

The 2012 Prius Plug-in Hybrid offers 15 miles of electric-only range at speeds of up to 62 miles per hour. The Chevy Volt is always powered via electric motor, though it uses a gasoline engine to recharge its battery pack after an EPA-estimated 35 miles. Due to its Electric Advanced Technology Partial Zero-Emissions Vehicle (eAT-PZEV) status, the Prius Plug-in qualifies for California’s carpool lane access—a perk now granted to the 2012 Chevy Volt as well.

To some, the most striking difference between the Volt and Prius Plug-in Hybrid might seem to be the sticker price. Starting at $32,760, Toyota’s Prius Plug-in Hybrid is significantly less expensive than the $39,995 Chevy Volt. However, the Volt qualifies for the full $7,500 federal tax credit, while the Prius Plug-in is only eligible for $2,500. The difference between these tax incentives brings the final purchase price nearly to parity.

Ultimately, the two vehicles provide two very distinct approaches to reach similar efficiencies. Throw in the Nissan LEAF (which is rated slightly higher at 99 MPGe,) and the forthcoming Ford Fusion electric (which is expected to crack the 100-MPGe barrier,) and it becomes clear that the actual MPGe ratings of the current mass-marketed plug-in vehicles are fairly close to one another. For consumers, choosing the right electric vehicle will most often come down to price, and finding the best range and drivetrain configurations for each individual or family’s lifestyle.

Toyota's NAIAS Exhibit Focuses On The Future Of Transportation

January 5, 2012 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Toyota’s 30,000-square-foot exhibit will be a blend of new products bound for dealerships and concept vehicles that could pave the way for new vehicles and promising technologies. Among the headliners at the exhibit is a pair of vehicles debuting during Media Days at NAIAS. On Jan. 10, Toyota will unveil the NS4, an advanced plug-in hybrid concept vehicle. The news conference will feature the premiere of this concept vehicle as well as the North American debut of the Prius c hybrid. The Prius c will go on sale in 2012 and is the fourth member of the Prius “family” of hybrid vehicles. All four vehicles will be on display in a special “Prius Family Zone” in the exhibit.

Along with the NS4, a pair of other concept vehicles will also be featured in the “Technology Zone” of Toyota’s exhibit, after bowing at the Tokyo Motor Show last month. They include the FCV-R and Fun-Vii. The FCV-R is a fuel cell sedan concept with the “R” standing for Reality and Revolution. The Fun-Vii has been engineered to be able to connect wirelessly with the infrastructure and surrounding roads. The “Vii” is an abbreviation for Vehicle, interactive, internet. The Technology Zone also includes a cut-away vehicle and 3D cockpit display. Both displays convey future safety and convenience technologies presently being studied by Toyota for potential use in the next decade.

Toyota’s renowned Star Safety System will also be on display in the exhibit. Toyota’s standard safety equipment can be experienced interactively via a driving Safety Simulator.

In all, Toyota will have 30 cars, trucks and SUVs on display at the auto show. Traditional window stickers have been replaced by iPads mounted near each vehicle for pricing and options exploration. Product specialists will also utilize iPads and an on-site kiosk to demonstrate the features of Toyota’s new Entune multimedia system, now available on many 2012 models.

There are a few specialty vehicles available in the display, among them a Camry pace car for the 2012 Daytona 500, a Toyota Tundra pickup emblazoned with graphics from DC comics/apparel and a Prius Project Concept Bike – engineered and constructed with Prius’ innovative qualities in mind.

“This year’s exhibit is about where we’re heading as an automaker,” said Ruslan Polinovsky, Auto Show Engagement Manager at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. “Visitors will not only see our award-winning cars and trucks but vehicles that show our environmental and technological leadership.”

Ten Electric Cars Coming in 2012

January 3, 2012 lacarguy HybridCars.com Tags: , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

By HybridCars.com

The year 2011 was a landmark year for EVs. We witnessed regional launches of the Nissan LEAF and the Chevy Volt. These two plug-in cars were the start of a new era for electrified personal transportation. The current American car auto fleet, however, is enormous—and two models alone cannot create change on a large scale.

During 2012, these two plug-in cars will have—depending how you look at it—either competition in the marketplace or help in the movement to electrify transportation

This coopetition includes the Ford Focus Electric, the much-anticipated Tesla Model S, and others. Pike Research predicts that more than 250,000 plug-in vehicles will be sold globally in 2012. Regardless of whether or not this prediction comes true, 2012 will bring more choices in vehicle style, brand, size, performance, and price, for cars with cords.

Here is HybridCars.com Top 10 countdown of plug-in cars to look forward to in 2012:

10. LEAF and Volt (Expanded Markets): First on my list is expanding availability of the two cars that kick-started the new era of plug-in vehicles. General Motors rolled out the Volt in four stages during 2011, making it available nationwide at the end of the year. Canada and the UK can expect to see Volts in 2012. The LEAF began shipping to the UK, Japan, and some US states in 2011. Nissan says the LEAF will be available in all 50 US states by March of 2012.

9. Smart ForTwo Electric Drive: Daimler reports that it will launch its third-generation Smart ForTwo Electric Drive to 30 markets around the world in September of 2012. This is a three-month delay for the two-seater initially planned for June 2012. Daimler claims the delay is due to quality control issues at the battery supplier Li-Tec.

8. Honda Fit EV: The Fit EV is scheduled for release in Oregon and parts of California next summer. Only a few hundred cars are expected to reach US shores during 2012, with 1,100 scheduled for production during the next three years.

7. Mitsubishi i: The updated Mitsubishi i-MiEV has been shipping in Japan and the UK for several months. The town of Normal Illinois received hundreds of i’s in 2011 as part of a test program and publicity campaign. The first regularly ordered i was delivered to an owner in Hawaii in December 2011. The national-wide US rollout is scheduled for July 2012. The i is a nice addition to the available EV portfolio because at $29,125 (before state and federal incentives) it is one of the most affordable highway-capable EVs.

6. Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid: With the “Prius Goes Plural” campaign, Toyota has added the Prius V, Prius C, and (relevant to this topic) the Plug-in Prius (PIP). The Prius has a loyal following among green drivers. PIP will be the Prius with the highest MPG rating in the Prius family. This will make it the car of choice for many Prius fans, even with its price premium over the standard model. PIP will be available in 15 states in spring 2012 with nationwide availability in 2013.

5. Ford Focus Electric: Ford initially announced that these were going to start shipping in December 2011. One or two may go out the door, but any real volume won’t happen until Spring 2012. I am looking forward to seeing the EPA rated range and price information. This is the first pure EV of this era from one of the Big 3. It will be a bellwether.

4. Fisker Karma: First promised in 2009, Karma reservation holders have been repeatedly delayed. And with each delay the price ratcheted up, from an initial $80,000 price tag now to $106,000 (as of Dec. 13, 2011). There were a few token deliveries in 2011, including handing key-fobs to Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Gore and Colin Powell. 2012 should be the year for mere mortals, although you will need six figures of cash to make it happen.

3. Toyota RAV 4 EV (Redux): This vehicle is a joint effort between Toyota and Tesla. The original RAV 4 EV was a favorite among the millennium era EVs. It is scheduled for sale in mid-2012. Initially sales will be limited to California.

2. Ford C-Max Energi: The Ford C-Max Energi is a plug-in hybrid version of the Ford C-Max wagon (or compact multi-purpose vehicle, or MPV, as it is referred to in the UK). The 2013 Ford C-Max Energi is planned for launch in North America in 2012, and Europe in 2013.

1. Tesla Model S: This is the car I am most looking forward to driving. Tesla followed the tech development model with an alpha and beta phases in 2011 and production samples are now on the road. Tesla plans to build and sell 6,500 units in 2012. However, unless you are already a reservation holder, you are out of luck because 6,500 people have already put down $5,000 each to get a place in line to buy one. Deliveries are expected to start mid-2012.

There are other plug-in cars—from smaller and less proven companies—that could make it to market in 2012, most notably the Coda Electric Sedan. But Coda, as well as BYD, Zap, Zenn, and Wheego—are dark horses in the emerging market. Of course, the only thing that would be truly surprising in this tumultuous nascent industry would be a year with no surprises.