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by Tim Beissmann

The production version of the 2012 Toyota Prius C has been revealed ahead of its 2011 Tokyo Motor Show debut on November 30.

The Yaris-sized five-seat hybrid hatch promises to set a new fuel efficiency benchmark for Toyota in Australia when it goes on sale in the first quarter of next year.

According to preliminary Japanese fuel consumption tests, the Prius C will be marginally more efficient than the larger Toyota Prius, which uses 3.9 litres/100km on the combined cycle under Australian standards.

It will make the compact Prius the most fuel efficient petrol-powered car in Australia, and it’s likely to nip at the heels of the most frugal diesels on the market like the Ford Fiesta ECOnetic (3.6 litres/100km).

The Prius C will be cheaper than the standard Prius too, and will become the most affordable hybrid in the country if it undercuts the $29,990 Honda Insight. Toyota Australia will confirm pricing closer to the vehicle’s local launch next year.

 

The Prius C is powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine and a high-output electric motor, although Toyota is keeping precise specifications and performance details under wraps for now.

Toyota says the engine and hybrid components have been arranged to provide a low centre of gravity for better driving dynamics and to create a spacious interior with a functional boot.

The Prius C will initially go on sale in Japan late next month, where it will be called Aqua.




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