The first model that will benefit from the expanded Prius line-up coming for next year will be a compact MPV reportedly badged the Alpha. The small van will apparently be based on a stretched version of the current Prius platform, and will add a third row of seats and should be the first production Toyota hybrid with a lithium ion battery pack. The seven-seat Alpha is expected to be about one foot longer than the standard Prius hatchback.
Also in the works is a shorter five-seat version of the Alpha that may look similar to the Hybrid-X concept from 2007, only this new one could retain the nickel-metla hydride batteries of the current Prius to keep costs down. We can expect the Prius Alpha to silently cruise onto the streets around March 2011.