The Prius was actually born back in 1997, but that was happening on its domestic market. Throughout its career, the car has managed to convert 1.8 million drivers, with the U.S. market accounting for 50 percent of the vehicle's total sales.
The Prius has come a long way from the first generation, which was a vehicle that failed to impress on any level. The second generation of the car, which came in 2004 gave the car a set of wings, with the third incarnation, which arrived in 2009, really boosting the vehicle's status.
As for the future of the Prius, Toyota is planing to complement the current hybrid system, the Hybrid Synergy Drive, with a plug-in one, called the Prius Plug-In Hybrid. The company has debuted a series of worldwide test for a fleet of plug-in Prius vehicles that use lithium-ion batteries. The series version of the plug-in Prius is scheduled to hit the market in 2012.
We had to see, feel, smell, taste and hear the Prius ourselves, so we took the current generation of the car for a test drive. You can read the review here.
And there’s more. For next week, we are preparing a special cover story dedicated to the Prius, in which we will follow the vehicle throughout its entire life. Be sure to check our cover story section for the article.