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Toyota Prius v Competition – General Motors Working on Small Hybrid MPV

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Chevrolet Orlando, if Modified Heavily, Could Compete with Toyota Prius v and Ford C-Max
Chevrolet Orlando, if Modified Heavily, Could Compete with Toyota Prius v and Ford C-Max

Hybrid MPVs are a particularly rare breed and, at least in the US, but you may be familiar with the two most well-known models, the Toyota Prius v and the Ford C-Max.

If Toyota Prius v is king of the hill, then Ford C-Max would probably be considered the main challenger in the small hybrid MPV market. Competition could be coming their way if a little General Motors project ever makes it to the showrooms.

General Motors has been testing a couple of heavily modified Chevrolet Orlando MPVs with hybrid powertrain additions. The Chevrolet Orlando is made by General Motors in Korea for sale in Europe and Canada, but not here in the US. In terms of size, it is very similar to the Toyota Prius v and Ford C-Max, but lacks the hybrid components that give these vehicles their excellent fuel economy.

You can see a whole spread of spy shots on autoblog.com, which show various external modifications, essentially cosmetic, but with some changes to door sizes. Externally might not seem particularly special, but the shot of a hybrid battery pack cobbled into the cargo and passenger seating areas tells us this could be direct competition for the Toyota Prius v and Ford-C-Max, which currently dominate [comprise?] the small hybrid MPV market.

 

General Motors already has proven plug-in technology in the Chevy Volt and Cadillac ELR, so I’m kind of surprised that there is no charging port on this Chevrolet Orlando mockup, but who’s to say that might not change? A small plug-in MPV might be a good direction to go, if General Motors can keeps costs down, since the Ford C-Max plug-in, the C-Max Energi, is already on the market.

There is no word yet on model name, pricing, date of release, specifications, etc, but the Chevrolet Orlando testbeds look promising. It may never have the “Prius” name going for it, but it could chip away at Toyota Prius v’s market share and give the Ford C-Max a run for its money.

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