Making its official debut as the Aqua at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, the all-new Toyota Prius C compact hybrid makes its North America debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. As a smaller hatchback version of the standard Prius, the Prius C is both more fuel-efficient and more affordable, achieving 53 MPG (4.7 L/100km) in the city and going on sale with a starting price of less than $19,000.
About the size of the latest Toyota Yaris, the Prius C hybrid is powered by a 73 horsepower 1.5-liter four tied to an electric motor. Using a CVT, the system delivers a combined 99-hp, compared to the standard Prius’s 134-hp. With 53 mpg/46 mpg city/highway and 50 mpg (4.7lt/100km) combined, the small hybrid is said to return the highest rated city fuel economy of any vehicle without a plug-in feature.
The Prius C offers drivers three driving modes: Normal, Eco, and EV. Eco mode reduces energy consumption by controlling the air-conditioning and throttle of the vehicle, while the EV mode allows the car to be driven fully on electric power for under 1 mile (1.6km) at speeds up to 25 mph (40km/h).