Toyota Australia thinks it might be onto a winner with the Prius C city car, revealed in concept form earlier this year ahead of its 2012 production debut.

Before it locks the car in for a local launch however, Toyota will show the Prius C at Melbourne's Australian International Motor Show in July to gauge the compact hybrid's appeal among Australian buyers.

David Buttner, Toyota Australia Senior Executive Director for Sales and Marketing, believes the urban appeal of the Prius C would go a long way towards beating down stigma and increasing the acceptance of hybrid cars.

"We are bringing it [the Prius C concept] to the Australian motor show to test its appeal among buyers who we expect will come from a different group to those attracted to the current Prius," Mr Buttner said today.

"They are compact-car buyers, including young singles and couples, who want a mainstream city car that provides outstanding fuel economy while being fun to drive."

Like the nearly identical FT-CH concept before it, the Prius C is around 560mm shorter than the regular Toyota Prius. It maintains nearly all of the larger Prius car's width however, with only 25mm cut from its sides.

While an Australian launch for the stylish and frugal city car may hinge on the response to its tour of Melbourne, the little Prius C is already scheduled for a US market launch in the first half of 2012.

What's your say? Would you buy it?