In a move that was more expected than surprising given the success of the Prius over the years, Toyota launched the first addition to the Prius family, the V-branded minivan, and announced an upcoming compact hatchback, previewed by the Prius C concept study, at the 2011 Detroit Motor Show. The two models will join the regular Prius hatchback and its forthcoming plug-in version in the North American market.
The production Prius V seen in the videos after the jump, is a practical five-seat minivan based off the hatchback version of Toyota's popular hybrid model. It uses the same 1.8-litre petrol engine and Hybrid Synergy Drive tech offering 50% more luggage space than its smaller counterpart, while returning an estimated 42 mpg city, 38 mpg highway and 40 mpg combined. The Prius V will go on sale in North America in late summer 2011 as a 2012 model year.