Daihatsu, the Japanese automaker controlled by Toyota, has released a rebadged version of the Prius V (sold as the Prius α in Japan) for the domestic market. Called the Daihatsu Mebius, it is the second Toyota hybrid model rebadged as a Daihatsu, following the Camry hybrid’s transformation into the Daihatsu Altis.
Daihatsu says the launch of the Mebius is part of the business collaboration in environmental technology field in Japan agreed between the two companies in September 2010.
Badges aside, there are no other differences between the Mebius and the Prius V, at least not detectable by the human eye. Technically speaking, the Mebius is identical to the Prius V as it has a hybrid system consisting of a 99-PS 1.8-liter gasoline engine paired to an electric motor, for a total output of 136 PS (134 horsepower). Average fuel consumption is rated at 3.82 liters/100 km (61.6 US mpg, 26.2 km/l).
Unlike the Toyota Prius V, which comes in 5-seater and 7-seater variants, the Daihatsu Mebius is only available with as a 5-seater, with two rows of seats. Prices start at 2,350,000 Japanese Yen ($23,730).
By Dan Mihalascu