Japanese Brochure Provides Prius C Sneak Preview

An early preview of the Prius C was leaked this week by a Japanese car fan who scanned pages from a domestic brochure and sent them to an online magazine.

While not surprising, it is less flashy than the concept shown earlier this year, and the U.S. is expecting to see its own production version early next year.

We don’t know what changes might be made between the Japanese market version and North American (aside from the obvious switch to left side drive).

As it is, the production car in Japan is said to be motivated by a smaller hybrid powertrain. Specifically, it uses a 1.5-liter gasoline engine putting out 74-horsepower and 111Nm (81.9 lb-ft) of torque (both) delivered at 4,800 rpm. Combined with this is an electric motor producing 61-horsepower and 169Nm (125 lb-ft) torque.

A CVT channels the driving power through the front wheels and combined output (in JDM tune) is 100 horsepower.

The Prius C is slated to be the value leader of the Prius family, and is thus dimensionally smaller than a regular Prius.

It measures 157.3 inches (3,995mm) long, 66.7 inches (1,695 mm) wide, and 56.9 inches (1,445mm) tall. Wheelbase is 100.4 inches (2,550mm). This is a squeak larger than a Toyota Yaris.

Fuel economy – on the Japanese cycle which typically reads significantly higher than the U.S. cycle – equates to 83.3 mpg or 2.8 liters/100km on the JC08 cycle. On the 10.15 mode driving cycle it’s 94 mpg or 2.5liters/100 km.

Again, factor down when gauging what this will equate to for a U.S. version. The regular Prius gets a combined 89.4 mpg compared to 50 mpg when federally rated.

The Japanese car as pictured is to premier in December at the Tokyo Motor Show. Toyota reportedly will reveal the car in the U.S. in Detroit in January 2012.


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  • Kalan Ickes

    So this car would get worse mileage than the regular Prius? If so, can you please comment on why this would be the case given that it is smaller and could have newer technology? Thanks.

  • simon@syd

    Looks very Hondary. I dont know if it is a worse mileage, as I think one is Japanese, and one is American(?). Anyhow, its going to be an interesting year next year if the new Volvo is around, getting 1.9 to the hundred km (sorry, I’m Oz). It might spur on Toyota.

  • van

    The Prius city-centric hybrid should get better mileage in the USA, than the regular, non plug in Prius, probably around 62 MPG.

  • usbseawolf2000

    The scan of the spec sheet clearly says the gas engine is 1.496 liter (1.5L).

  • MrEnergyCzar

    The rep at the NY auto show last spring said it will get over 55 mpg, probably 60 mpg which seems about right.

  • Capt. Concernicus

    So which cycle is the correct MPG number? Is it 83.3 or 94?

    I was hoping for just a little more flare in styling, but it looks as though that won’t happen.

    Imagine if this car got 83.3 or 94 mpg on the U.S. cycle? I’d probably dump my 2nd gen Prius and buy this.

  • Shines

    The way I read the article it doesn’t sound like this will get more than 10% better fuel economy that the regular Prius which means no more than 56 mpg. If it is $3500 cheaper than the current Prius or about the same as the Insight it should sell. I agree that it looks more Honda Fit like than Yaris (which is a good thing)
    Let’s see… Prius C $20000, Volt $40000. If gas prices were to double the difference of $20000/$8 per gal = 2500 gals of fuel * 55 mpg = 137500 miles to make up the difference not including the additional cost of electricity needed to power the Volt and assuming the Volt runs in all electric mode for those 137000 miles.
    I am not saying the Volt is a bad car – just way over priced.
    Looking forward to seeing this Prius C on the road.

  • Anonymous

    Prius C looks much smaller than regular Prius. But the improvement in MPG is very minimal. This could be due to the insufficient hybridization. 80hp motor vs. 61hp.

    Toyota had the same issue with Camry hybrid. The current Camry hybrid does not offer good MPG. When they upgraded the hybrid system with a more powerful one, the MPG improved drastically.

    It is not just GM/Chrysler, even Toyota does not learn much from their mistakes.

  • Anonymous


    The article says 83 MPG US. Thats excellent.

    If we see from the front to rear windshield, the space is fully utilized for passenger & cargo. That means its space functional.

    And what about the Toyota Aqua, is that different from Prius C.

  • Chuck

    Why don’t Toyota make Matrix hybrid with same technology? I don’t care about hybrid Matrix anymore. Prius C looks great. If the cost is less then Honda Insight, I’m getting one. I love true hatchback.

  • jk31007

    look very similar to the toyota auris…. auris might even look better.


  • jk31007

    it looks very similar to the toyota auris… the auris might even look better. i want one

  • Jeff

    Styling? It it a Matrix body with a Prius front end. I know this because I already own one of each.

  • Henry28

    This car is very fuel efficient, but the inside does not look as slick as I thought. The entertainment system looks old even though it may have all the new features. I think the inside could sure use some improvement. Living Room Decorating Ideas