Last month, news came of Toyota's Lexus brand getting a Prius-based hybrid vehicle when the next generation car breaks cover some time in 2010. Now, the latest reports have the automaker also mulling over at least one more hybrid vehicle that won't look like anything else in the maker's current range, this one possibly a crossover. If true, Toyota would maintain its position as a pioneer in the hybrid vehicle industry.
The Prius-based car would have unique styling inside and out, and be priced well north of its Toyota-badged donor, at above $30,000. It may also use lithium-ion batteries, unlike the current and probably next-generation Prius' nickel-metal hydride batteries, according to Inside Line, with the inline-four cylinder gasoline engines in either displacing 1.8 liters. The crossover could very well use the same powertrain, as all three cars are to be underpinned by Toyota's midsize MC platform, currently used in the Camry and Lexus RX SUV, both of which are available as hybrids.
The next-gen Prius, along with the unnamed Lexus variant, should bow at January's Detroit auto show. Reports have the Prius sold in North America in the spring of next year, with the Lexus coming out at least one year later. The crossover is likely to arrive in 2011.