Toyota officially announce the Aqua hybrid, also known as the Prius C

Toyota Aqua Prius C OfficialToyota has officially unveiled its Aqua compact hybrid car, set to be called the Prius C when it comes to the USA. It’s the first spin-off of the popular Prius brand, and is similar in size to the Toyota Yaris.

The concept appeared at the New York motor show back in April, then again as a leaked set of press shots in October. In-between time, the car lost the barking mad headlights and the steeply raked roofline, which made it look more like the VW Scirocco than a compact city car.

It goes on sale in Japan today, where it costs the equivalent of $21,700, which is 22% less than the entry-level Prius according to Bloomberg. Toyota claims to have received 60,000 pre-orders for the vehicle, and expects monthly sales to be around 12,000.

Aimed at younger buyers, the Aqua uses the same 1.5-liter Toyota Hybrid System II engine found in some of the most recent Prius cars, which has returned a touch over 35 km/l or 82mpg in Japanese tests. This will be revised to between 50mpg and 60mpg for the US launch though.

Performance using both engines is quoted as being 10.7 seconds to 100km/h or 62mph, and in the mid-range the 25mph to 44mph (40km/h to 70km/h) dash is covered in 3.6 seconds.

The Aqua is expected to make its US debut as the Prius C at the International Auto Show in Detroit this coming January, and will potentially go on sale before June. The price has yet to be confirmed, but could be similar to the Aqua’s $20,000 price tag.

Toyota Aqua Prius C Doors