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Toyota releases new Prius as it seeks recovery from terrible 2019

Mar 11,2020
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Toyota’s Prius c Crossover hatchback goes on sale in Korea Tuesday. [TOYOTA KOREA]
Toyota is introducing two hybrid Prius models in Korea as it works to recover from disappointing sales last year and reach consumers looking for eco-friendly vehicle options.

The Korean unit of the Japanese automakers said Tuesday that it has started sales of the Prius c Crossover hatchback and 2020 Prius sedan. Both models are hybrid electric vehicles that are eligible for taxes and parking discounts.

The Prius c Crossover, priced at 25.9 million won ($21,700), comes with a newly designed radiator grille along with front and rear bumpers.

The subcompact hatchback is equipped with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and compact hybrid transaxle, rated at 101 horsepower and 11.3 kilogram-meters (81.7 pound-feet) in torque.

The hybrid technology increases the fuel economy of the Prius c Crossover. It goes 18.6 kilometers (11.6 miles) on a liter of gas.

Toyota Korea said it is also offering all-wheel-drive options and front-wheel-drive versions of the 2020 Prius.

The vehicles are equipped with a four-cylinder gasoline engine and a hybrid transaxle.

The all-wheel-drive option has a fuel economy of 20.9 kilometers per liter, while the front-wheel-drive version can travel 22.4 kilometers per liter. They are rated at 122 horsepower and 14.5 kilogram-meters of torque.

The launch of new Prius models could help Toyota recover from disappointing sales last year.

According to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association, Toyota in 2019 sold a total of 10,611 vehicles in Korea, down 36.7 percent from 16,774 units a year earlier. Sales for its luxury brand Lexus dipped 8.2 percent to 12,241 units.

As the coronavirus outbreak threatens production and sales schedules for its Korean competitors, Toyota could experience a sales rebound this year.

NY KO JUN-TAE [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]