Toyota’s New Prius Family Showcased At Detroit Auto Show
Toyota unveiled the Prius family of vehicles today at the 2011 North American International Auto Show. In addition to the current third-generation Prius and Prius Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHV), the new Prius v midsize hybrid-electric vehicle and...
Toyota unveiled the Prius family of vehicles today at the 2011 North American International Auto Show. In addition to the current third-generation Prius and Prius Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHV), the new Prius v midsize hybrid-electric vehicle and the Prius c Concept vehicle joined the iconic hybrid brand, broadening the appeal of Prius to all ages and lifestyles.
With the expansion of the Prius family, a new evolution of vehicles will further increase the acceptance of hybrids with Prius’ same core values of high fuel efficiency, low emissions, proven technology and environmental stewardship.
“When people think of hybrid, they think of Prius,” said Stephen Beatty, Managing Director and Chief Environmental Officer for Toyota Canada Inc. “By expanding the line up we plan to keep Prius top-of-mind with consumers. Toyota hybrid vehicles produce almost 66 per cent fewer smog-forming emissions than a typical conventionally powered new vehicle. Getting more Canadians behind the wheel of a Prius vehicle will achieve the most meaningful environmental benefit.”
Over 21, 000 Prius’ have been sold in Canada since it was first introduced in 2000, and Toyota Canada’s share of the Canadian hybrid market is 60 per cent. The third-generation Prius, which reached dealerships in June 2009, has continued the hybrid’s heritage of exceptional fuel efficiency and low emissions.
The Prius has also been a technological flagship vehicle, offering new features to the Toyota brand like the world’s first beltless engine, plant-derived, carbon neutral plastics, a Touch Tracer Display, an Advanced Pre-Collision System and Intelligent Parking Assist, as well as Toyota’s first use of a moon roof with solar panels that power a smart air conditioning system.
Prius v: “Versatility” for Young, Active Families
The new Prius v, with “v” expressing the vehicle’s versatility, will meet the needs of growing families with active lifestyles while providing the same attributes traditionally found in the Prius DNA. It will share the current generation Prius’ platform and Hybrid Synergy Drive technology. Featuring a compact exterior yet spacious interior, the Prius v will feature over 50 per cent more interior cargo space than the current Prius.
With a balance between outstanding spaciousness, refined style, and smooth aerodynamics, Prius v has a low 0.29 coefficient of drag, which does not inhibit the vehicle’s convenient packaging. It is a new vehicle designed from the ground up, with a shape that evolved from Prius rather than being an elongated version.
The exterior styling is sleek, rounded and bold, with an extended roofline that allows the vehicle to retain the triangular silhouette symbolic of Prius. The trapezoidal-shaped front features sharp-edged headlamps, wind-slipping aero corners for improved aerodynamics and an enlarged under grille, which all help create a unique design evolving from the current Prius. Prius v’s rear styling is highlighted by a refined backdoor panel, intricate combination taillights and a specially designed roof spoiler that improves air flow.
Inside, the Prius v emphasizes overall proportion with spaciousness and flexibility for active families. Comfortable interior space and good visibility has been assisted by a high seating position, ample head room, and an impressive 965 cm couple distance, providing generous rear legroom. A low, wide-opening rear hatch reveals 971 L of cargo space behind the rear seats, making it the most spacious dedicated hybrid vehicle on the market and better than some compact SUVs.
Comfortable seating for five is specifically designed for young families. Sliding second row seats allow for easier ingress and egress and rear-storage flexibility, with a 45-degree recline for greater comfort. The 60/40 split, folding rear seats present four different seat arrangements that provide excellent usability for passengers and luggage, while a fold-flat front-passenger seat allows for extremely long cargo.
Also available, and a Toyota-first, is a resin Panoramic View moonroof with power retractable sun shades that provides an open atmosphere in the cabin with a 40 per cent reduction in weight as compared to conventional glass roofs of the same size, and excellent heat insulation performance.
Up front, instrument-panel controls, including a single-dial air-conditioning control and a center-mounted digital combination meter, provide an advanced look and user-friendly command. The driving controls – including the Push Button Start, parking switch, electronic shift lever, and driving mode selection – are distinguished by silver trim.
Despite the spaciousness of a family friendly midsize vehicle, the Prius v will deliver estimated U.S. EPA fuel economy ratings of 42 mpg city, 38 mpg highway and 40 mpg combined, the best fuel economy consumption ratings of any SUV, crossover, or wagon on the market.
Like the current generation Prius, the Prius v is a showcase of technology that will include many of the same standard features. Four driving modes (Normal, Power, Eco and EV) satisfy a variety of road conditions and driver preferences. A Smart Key System with Push Button Start, an electronic shift lever, Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), and a back-up camera are standard. Available options include energy-efficient LED headlamps, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with a Pre-Collision System (PCS), and an Advanced Parking Guidance System.
For a high level of safety, there are seven airbags, a high-strength cabin and an energy-absorbing body structure with impact beams, cross members and leg absorption pads. New driver and front-passenger seat design helps lessen possible whiplash injury during a collision..
Like all 2011 Toyota models, the Prius v will feature Toyota’s Star Safety SystemTM as standard, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist and Smart Stop Technology (SST).
A new evolution in hybrid vehicles with excellent cargo space and Prius’ heritage of environmental performance and fuel economy, the 2012 Prius v is estimated to go on sale in late summer 2011.
Prius c Concept: Small “city”-centric Hybrid Vehicle
While the current Prius has ushered hybrid technology into the mainstream, and the Prius v will provide the additional room and versatility for active families, compact shoppers are interested in a smaller hybrid at an entry price point and with superior fuel efficiency. The Prius c Concept, with c representing a “city”-centric vehicle, will appeal to young singles and couples who want an eco-sensitive, high-mileage, fun-to-drive Prius.
This dynamic vehicle with urban appeal will pursue outstanding fuel efficiency in a compact package, while also providing a surprisingly spacious interior. It will include many advanced technology features, including some offered on the current Prius.
Prius c Concept is the inspiration for an additional Prius family member that is estimated to come to market in the first half of 2012 as the most value-oriented hybrid in the Canadian market with the highest mileage of any “cordless” hybrid.
Prius Plug-In Vehicle: the Best of Both Worlds
Since its initial launch 10 years ago, one of the Prius’ main efficiencies has been a hybrid system with its own on-board recharging system that never needed to be plugged in to take people where they wanted to go. With the addition of new technology and shifts in the market, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid is the family member that represents the best of both worlds – the superior fuel efficiency of the Prius with added EV driving capability.
Depending on driving conditions, Prius Plug-in can be driven approximately 20 kilometres on battery power at speeds up to 100 km/h. Its compact Lithium-ion battery provides less weight and a quicker recharging time, taking three hours on 110 volts and 1.7 hours on 220 volts. It can be “topped off” anytime with a convenient short charge.
After the EV power is depleted, the Plug-in performs like an economical third-generation Prius, the most fuel efficient midsize hybrid vehicle in Canada. Unlike pure EVs, it will be a seamless transition for consumers, with the only difference from a regular Prius is that it can be plugged in at convenient intervals.
Currently, Toyota Canada Inc is testing several Lithium-ion-battery powered Prius Plug-ins as part of the first phase of a national demonstration program with 16 partners across the country. The program’s goal is to demonstrate plug-in technology, educate and inform the public, evaluate performance, and better understand the benefits to future customers.