Upcoming Toyota Prius C '94-MPG' Compact Hybrid Now Has A Name: Aqua

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Is this the new Toyota Aqua?

Is this the new Toyota Aqua?

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The Prius family of hybrid cars from Toyota is going to get a little bigger as of January when the Japanese automaker will launch a new compact hybrid car for the Japanese market: the 2012 Toyota Aqua.

According to Reuters News Service, the Nikkei business daily reports that the compact gasoline electric hybrid will achieve a gas mileage of 94 mpg on the Japanese test cycle-- making it the most fuel-efficient gasoline car to date.  

There’s no official pictures of the Aqua yet, but we’d like to guess that the mysterious C-segment concept shown in Toyota’s most recent Prius television adverts could hint at what the finished car will look like. 

It has also been previewed by not one but two concept cars at two successive Detroit Auto Shows. This year's Prius C concept evolved some of the styling and packaging ideas first shown in the FT-Ch concept from January 2010.

Aimed at younger and female drivers, the Aqua will complement Toyota’s existing hybrid range, which includes the 2012 Prius hatchback, 2012 Prius V wagon, and 2012 Prius Plug-in Hybrid.

Price-wise, Reuters reports that the Aqua will sell for around 1.7 million yen, or about $22,000 by today’s exchange rates. When it comes to the U.S., it will likely have to slot in noticeably below the current mid-size Prius hatchback, which has a base price starting at $23,520.

As for fuel economy? Since the quoted 94 mpg is almost surely a test result from the Japanese fuel economy tests and not the more strenuous test cycles used by the U.S. EPA, expect a real-world combined gas-mileage rating of closer to 60 mpg when the car lands at Toyota dealers next year.


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Comments (7)
  1. I have a 2011 Prius basic model. I rarely get less than 50 mpg per tankload, usually get 53 to 55 mpg, and my best mpg was 55.3. I love the car. It performs like a champ out on the highway and on city streets. I live in the desert southwest and usually have the ac on. If I were rich enough to change cars every year, I'd buy another one.

  2. If it's more stylish than the Prius, then I may be in, can't wait to see the production version. I mean no disrespect to Prius owners, either, it's just not my thing at all styling-wise. Put the hybrid powertrain in the Mini Cooper/Fiat 500/anything by Audi and I'm in.
    The family-sized crossover that's just about to come out didn't look bad to me. Still not what I'd get, but for that category and as a unique option, it should do fairly well.

  3. Prius V Wagon, to be accurate. The upcoming family-sized crossover I referred to in my previus post...

  4. Although the potential for 60+mpg EPA is VERY appealing I would have a hard time justifying the purchase and trading in my 2005 Prius. Fuel savings vs. my 2001 GMC Sierra (14mpg) has paid for my Prius. Because the difference in fuel economy of my 2005 vs. the new Prius c is so small (53mpg avg. vs. 60mpg), one cannot claim a large financial savings like you could when moving up from a 20mpg vehicle to a 50mpg vehicle. Regardless, from insider hints I have a feeling I will really like the c and may replace my 2005 after the first year bugs are worked out. Besides, I'd love to throw it in the face of the TDi folks who claim they get better Hwy mpg than the current Prius when all they can do is match it at best. :)

  5. is that a "v" or a roman numeral 5?

  6. Cant wait to get rid of my Lexus GS!

  7. Toyota has been awful as of late with the roll-out of its new Prius C, or Aqua. I really hope it looks more like the Aqua and less like the C that is being posted. It will need to get 94mpg to be a player. Toyota for some reason has been absent from the party in making the next step beyond hybrid technology. Once a leader, Toyota is now a follower, which is disheartening. I can get 60mpg with my '04 Prius, so it had better do better to keep my business!! Ford is moving faster than Toyota, too bad, so sad.

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