Toyota has aced a hole in one with its new Prius variant, the Prius C. The hybrid has been selling like hotcakes since it went on sale back in December 2011, and it has a lot going for it. You can pick up one of these little fuel-sipping hatchbacks for a cool $18,950, making it the most inexpensive car in the Prius line up, behind the third generation Prius and the Prius V, respectively. The Prius C comes equipped with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that includes Toyota’s acclaimed Hybrid Synergy Drive attached to it, making 99 horsepower. More importantly, this car achieves an incredible 53 miles-per-gallon in the city and 46 miles-per-gallon on the highway, making for a combined 50 miles per gallon. Rising gas prices, bring it on! The Prius C also comes with projector beam halogen headlamps and LED rear taillights as well as optional power sliding moon roof and optional 15 and 16 inch alloy wheels.
The new Prius C has definitely caused a stir in the market, as orders have already eclipsed 120,000 vehicles. Its sales through the first 5 days were 1,201, a number that the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf usually accomplish in a month. This is fantastic news for Toyota, since this is the sales boost they have been looking for. However, this new demand is putting quite the strain on the Kanto factory in Iwate, Japan. Toyota initially planned to produce 20,000 Prius C’s a month, but now they need to increase that amount beyond 30,000 a month. Toyota is taking measures to make this happen, such as moving existing models being produced at Kanto to other Toyota factories in Japan to free up room for more Prii (yes, Prii is the official plural of Prius, according to Toyota, and it’s awesome). Toyota has said that the production increase should happen during the summer of 2012, just in time for the supposed gas price hikes. For now, the United States will get just 6,000 Prius C’s a month, but that amount will go up as soon as the factory production increases; a blow we can deal with, until summer hits us with more Prii for all.