The Toyota Prius C made its debut this year as a concept at the Detroit Auto Show. When we see it at next year’s show, the new, five-door subcompact edition of the popular hybrid will be ready for prime time as Toyota announced the car will become available in the spring of 2012.
The Prius C, which stands for “city,” is Toyota’s attempt to add a model to the ever-growing Prius family that presents a “more youthful expression and a sportier dynamic character that offers a more fun-to-drive experience.” Because it’s made for the city, this is a smaller Prius, measuring about a foot and a half shorter than the standard liftback model.
For Toyota, that new youthful expression means connectivity and music. The Prius C will feature Bluetooth, steering-wheel audio controls and the company’s Entune multimedia system. Entune uses smartphone technology to connect to navigation, entertainment, and real time information such as live weather, traffic, fuel information.
The Prius C also offers voice recognition, music streaming, and email/text to speech capabilities. In addition the hybrid allows access to iheartradio, Pandora and SiriusXM.
Aside from the new techy bells and whistles, the Prius C still includes the fuel efficient meat and potatoes that has made the Prius line one of the most popular hybrids available. The car, which uses a 1.5-liter, in-line four-banger version of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system, is expected to get 50 MPG in the city, which is easily among the highest city MPG of any non-plug-in vehicle.