Last year, Toyota introduced the Prius c concept at the North American International Auto Show. It was funky and interesting, but sadly the production model isn't.
Recently unveiled at this year's show, the 2012 Prius c is a five-door hatchback that is virtually identical to the JDM Aqua. Styling is heavily influenced by the standard Prius and it has a 0.28 drag coefficient.
Inside, the cabin is nicely equipped with automatic climate control and a 3.5-inch infotainment system with Bluetooth/USB/iPod connectivity. If that isn't impressive enough, the optional Entune infotainment system has a larger 6.1-inch display and GPS navigation.
Power comes from a hybridized 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine which is backed up by an electric motor. This gives the hatchback a combined maximum output of 99 hp (74 kW / 100 PS). While it won't win any races, the Prius c is expected to return 53 mpg city / 46 mpg highway (US). The car also has a 144V nickel-metal hydride battery which enables the vehicle to travel short distances (less than a mile / 1.6 km) on electricity alone at speeds up to 25 mph (40 km/h).
The 2012 Prius c will be launched in the United States in March and pricing starts at less than $19,000.