Cars

New Wagon-Style Hybrid from Toyota

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Toyota has unveiled a new wagon-style hybrid vehicle that is set to go on sale next month in Japan, and will eventually be available in the United States.

According to a report from Automotive News, the new wagon sports the same gasoline-electric hybrid engine, but it "rides higher and heavier than the standard Prius."

The driver sits 1.2 inches higher for more vanlike command. And the wagon weighs about 220 pounds more, with the same drivetrain -- meaning it can't match its sibling's 9.8-second 0-60 mph time, says Kenichi Kanada, a body design engineer on the car.

Toyota is being tight-lipped the name of the wagon. The test wagons that it allowed journalists in Japan to view and test-drive had black tape over their nameplates.

The new wagon looks somewhat like the Prius, and they share the same platform, engine and hybrid drivetrain. But that's where the similarities end.

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Besides being heavier, the wagon is longer, wider, taller and has a stretched wheelbase. Makoto Okabe, the wagon's deputy chief engineer, said the wagon and the Prius have fewer than half of their components in common.

The wagon will reportedly cost about $28,600 in Japan, compared to $24,900 for the standard Prius. No date has been announced for U.S. sales.

To read more, go to FutureCars.com