The new hybrid will offer better riding quality due to its larger size and engine displacement of 2 to 3 liters. The Prius uses a 1.5-liter engine. If launched in 2009, the new model will likely follow the introduction of a third-generation Prius, which is expected in later 2008 or early 2009. The Nikkei adds that the annual sales target for the new model is 100,000 units and and compares with Toyota’s total hybrid sales of 310,000 last year. The extra sales would go some way to help Toyota reach its target to sell a million hybrids a year by the early 2010s.
One reason for the success of the Prius, which accounted for half of Toyota’s hybrid sales last year, is that car ownership conferred impeccable environmental credentials