Toyota announces non-hybrid Prius V6

Toyota Prius

Toyota has announced a new version of the Prius that will be powered by a V6 engine and conventional automatic transmission in place of the standard four-cylinder hybrid powertrain.

"Our research shows that many people buy a Prius because they want to project the image of being environmentally friendly," says a Toyota spokesperson. "The Prius V6 bestows the same 'green chic' while delivering the performance and acceleration of a conventional mid-size sedan."

The Prius V6 will use the 3.5 liter 268 horsepower engine from the Toyota Camry. In place of the HYBRID badge, the Prius V6 will get a HY6RID badge -- which, according to Toyota, stands for "High-performance 6-cylinder Racing Inspired Design."

EPA fuel economy estimates for the Prius V6 will be 17 MPG city/25 MPG highway, compared to 48 city/45 highway for the Prius hybrid. "Those are still respectable fuel economy figures," says the Toyota rep. "I mean, it's not like they're driving a Seq -- er, a Suburban." -- Aaron Gold

Photo © Aaron Gold