The Toyota Prius C, which debuted Dec. 26 in Japan as the Aqua, is already creating a lot of automotive industry interest. And not only is the interest in Toyota's small hybrid expanding, it's about five times greater than what the Japanese automaker expected.
While the debut of the car in the United States is several months away, about 60,000 reservations have been placed for the vehicle in Japan.
According to a report in the New York Times, the orders for the Aqua were received before the vehicle became available. Toyota had predicted monthly totals of 12,000.
More details of the Toyota Prius C (Aqua) have also surfaced:
* The EPA has not yet released gas-mileage ratings, but on the less stringent mileage calculations in Japan, the Aqua is rated at 82 mpg;
* The U.S. mpg rating could be as high as 60 mpg, but Toyota has only claimed that the Prius C will get better gas mileage that the 52 mpg Prius hatchback rating in city driving.
* The 2013 Prius C will go on sale "during 2012," in the United States, more than likely in the summer months;
* Toyota said it will take about four months for customers to take possession of the cars after placing an order.
Article Last Updated: December 27, 2011.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.