Toyota may develop “Prius on steroids”
Thanks to the persistent popularity of the Prius among American drivers, who buy 65 to 70 percent of all Toyota hybrids sold worldwide, the company is considering developing a bigger, badder version of the gas-sipper. James E. Lentz III, the head of Toyota Motor Sales USA, says he has proposed creating a separate Prius brand akin to the auto giant’s Scion spin-off. The new line, which would be sold in regular Toyota dealerships and available only in the U.S., could include various sizes — including, said Lentz, “one on steroids.” Sa-weet! Company officials, who recently announced the long-term possibility of converting their entire high-end Lexus line to hybrid models, are said to be mulling over the idea. “We’re catching the wind on this,” Lentz said. Or is that the breeze from a thousand F150 owners laughing?