The latest Prius is all about ‘firsts’.
The Prius c will be arriving in Bermuda this summer, and with it comes the next generation of hybrid technology.
The latest Toyota model will be the first hybrid vehicle to go on general sale on the island.
And it is the first time that Toyota has made its hybrid technology available in a ‘subcompact economy’ car.
Previous Prius models have either been too expensive or too large for the local market in Bermuda.
But Bermuda Motors expects the first batch of the new Prius c to arrive on the island at the beginning of June.
And the dealership on Church Street in Hamilton will set the price bar for the five-door vehicle at $39,500.
The new Prius comes with a 1.5-litre engine and will be classified as an E class machine.
Just a word of warning though — there is no plug! You don’t plug the Prius in to an electric socket to charge up the battery.
It is by definition a hybrid. To people in the know this equates to a 1.5-litre Atkinson-cycle inline-4 being mated to a smaller and lighter version of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system.
The two electric motors work with each other and the internal combustion engine to create various effective gear ratios and these drive configurations: pure EV, gasoline only, or a mix of the two.
In simple terms — the Prius runs on a mixture of gas and electricity.
Bermuda’s speed limits and short journey distances mean drivers will be able to get maximum benefit from its energy efficiency features in all modes.
The Prius c can drive for about a mile on battery only at under 25 mph; 53 mpg in urban conditions.
The 2012 Toyota Prius c has not been branded as a hybrid for people who don’t want the social stigma associated with owning a hybrid.
The Prius c is for people who just want a good car.
It focuses on economy, driving fun and style.
It is a smart looking car and in essence a slimmed down version of the old Prius.
The manufacturers have trimmed 500 lb off the old Prius to create the new model and this makes for a smaller and livelier chassis.
Inside you won’t find yourself short of space either and it will more than manage the tag of family car.
It comes with fold-down rear seats and is perfect for the intended demographic.
Michael Butler, general manager of Bermuda Motors said: “We are very excited about finally being able to bring the Prius to Bermuda.
“Toyota has been at the forefront of hybrid technology for 14 years and the Prius concept has proved enormously successful with more than 2 million cars sold worldwide.
“With the Prius c, Toyota has introduced the technology to a subcompact car for the first time and the Prius c is ideal for Bermuda's unique driving conditions.
“There is growing consumer awareness about energy efficiency and we think the long-term savings drivers will get on fuel consumption makes the Prius an attractive investment.”