The Toyota Prius defines "hybrid" in the popular consciousness. If you live in LA, chances are very good that you've owned a Prius, want to own a Prius, will soon own a Prius, have ridden in a Prius, or will soon ride in a Prius. If you're none of the the above, you probably have a Prius or three or eleven in your neighborhood.
I should add that the Prius is the default automobile of public radio, so I'm obligated to visit its home at the LA Auto Show. I used to be obligated to visit Volvo and Subaru, but times change!
A look what I discovered! Every since it arrived on these shores in the early 2000s, there has been basically one Prius model. Now, suddenly, there's a whole happy Prius family. The Prius V is a larger, more wagon-like version of the original. The plug-in Prius allows owners to recharge the car's battery, rather that relying on hybrid gas-electric mode.
There has long been talk of Toyota spinning Prius off as its own brand, à la Lexus or Scion, the carmaker's luxury and youth brands, respectively. But although we're getting more Priuses (Prii?), it looks as if they're going to remain Toyotas.
[For all you expert videographers out there, I apologize for the darkness at the beginning of the video. The lighting at the show is very unpredictable.]