Fleet News

Toyota confirms Prius for Euro launch

TOYOTA staged a high profile event to confirm that its revolutionary Prius hybrid car will go on sale across Europe next year. But company officials adopted a more cautious approach to questions concerning the likely cost of the tomorrow's world family saloon which combines a high-efficiency 1.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor and can run on either or both, depending on speed and loading.

'We intend to make this car available to the maximum number of our customers. Environmental concerns make it important for as many people as possible to gain access to this technology. But it is far too early to get involved in a discussion about pricing strategy,' said Toyota Europe marketing executive vice-president Juan Jose Diaz Ruiz when the Prius was highlighted at a special pre-motor show event in Frankfurt.

However, Fleet NewsNet understands that prices are likely to be £15,000 to £20,000 when the car goes on sale in September 2000. The car can run on either its 1.5-litre petrol engine, electric power, or a combination of both and will come with anti-lock brakes, electric windows, audio equipment air conditioning and an optional satellite navigations system. Performance figures are not available, but they are expected to be similar to a 1.6-litre Toyota Corolla.

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