Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. Inc., unveiled the all-new 50-mile per gallon rated third-generation Prius hybrid vehicle Jan. 12 at the 2009 North American International Auto show.

The midsize third-generation 2010 Prius will offer better mileage ratings, enhanced performance and innovative design features. It will be quieter, roomier, and equipped with advanced standard and available features such as a moonroof with solar panels, four driving modes, Intelligent Parking Assist (IPA) and steering wheel touch controls that display on the instrument panel, according to the company.

The third-generation Prius extends its record of continuous improvement in fuel economy. The first-generation Prius, which was rated 41 EPA combined mpg, was replaced by the current model, which is EPA rated at 46 mpg, combined city/highway. Using a combination of technologies, fuel efficiency was increased to an estimated 50 miles per gallon for the new Prius.

The new Prius will offer three alternative driving modes. EV-Drive Mode allows driving on battery power alone at low speeds for about a mile, if conditions permit. There is also a Power Mode, which increases sensitivity to throttle input for a sportier feel, and an Eco Mode, which helps the driver achieve their best mileage.

The new Prius was designed to comply with class-top level collision safety performance in each global region of sale, and to accommodate increasingly strict safety requirements in the future.

The vehicle also features:

  • Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbags
  • Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)
  • Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD)
  • Brake Assist (BA)
  • Electronic Traction Control (TRAC)
  • Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
  • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control system

Additionally, Safety Connect, Toyota's first safety and security service, includes automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle locator and an SOS call button. Safety Connect will be available a few months after launch.

Pricing for the 2010 Prius will be announced shortly before it goes on sale late spring.