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The world’s most popular hybrid car, the Toyota Prius, is getting a new look, and here are the first photos of it.

Caught earlier as a mule, with the new front welded to the old body, these are the very first photos of the completely new 2010 Toyota Prius due to bow at the Detroit auto show in January.

The new Prius has grown, and is now longer and wider; rear seat passengers have gotten more space, and the cargo area is bigger. Rumors suggest a whole family of Prius models-could that mean a wagon and maybe even a convertible with the Prius badge?

Insiders in Japan are talking about more power and better fuel economy. There might even be a plug-in version this time which will be even more fuel efficient. Toyota will change the Prius' NiMh batteries for lighter and smaller Li-ion batteries. The Li-ion will not just make it possible to have a smaller battery back, but will hold more energy as well.

Other news about the Prius: the roof will get solar cells to power the air conditioning, and it will be built in a new plant in Mississippi.


Click here for pics:

http://blogs.thecarconnection.com/blogs/marty_blog/2010/2010-toyota-prius-spied/

Personal note: Looks a lot like the Honda Hybrid spied yesterday!!
 

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the roof will get solar cells to power the air conditioning
They make it sound like all will get this. I thought the news was that a limited number of high end units will get the solar roof.
 

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How nice of them trying to take design cues of the rear bumper of the CTS, but that still looks like crap.
 
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