Plush New Prius Will Hit 50mpg

As hybrid market goes mainstream, so does iconic car
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 13, 2009 12:36 PM CST
Automakers are racing into the hybrid market, but Toyota remains confident that the Prius will keep its status as top fuel-efficiency car.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
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(Newser) – Toyota's sleeker, more fuel-efficient update to its iconic Prius, already the most fuel-efficient vehicle on the market, offers a city-highway average of 50mpg—up from 46—and a bunch of new amenities. Unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show, the 2010 model comes with a more powerful engine, a moonroof, and a solar-powered ventilation system that can be remotely operated, so the car can be cooled while it's parked, and drivers can adjust the interior temperature before getting in.

Toyota says this remote air conditioning system is an industry first. "The consumer demographic has shifted from an early adopter to a mainstream shopper," one exec says, explaining the makeover. "The Prius has evolved to meet the changing needs."