• Kyodo

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Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday it will manufacture a car based on the winning design by an Osaka businessman in an online popularity contest organized by the automaker.

The Prius Eco Cruiser will be based on a design by Toshikazu Otani, who entered the contest through the government-sponsored Internet Fair 2001 Japan, popularly known as “Inpaku.”

In support of Inpaku, a yearlong fair promoted by Tokyo to expand Internet use among the general public, Toyota called on people to join the customized car design event.

Out of 585 entries, Otani’s four-wheel drive station wagon, modeled on Toyota’s popular Prius, was voted the winner by viewers, the automaker said.

A prototype of the car will be unveiled in December, Toyota said, adding that details of the manufacturing process will also be posted on Toyota’s Inpaku site at www.toyota-pavilion.com

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