New Toyota Prius has a little more MPG but a lot more power – CNN | CarTailz



CNN

Toyota unveiled an all-new version of its famous Prius hybrid car on Wednesday, just ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show. It’s lower, longer and looks sleeker with almost 10% improved fuel efficiency for the model. Bigger gains come in terms of power and performance.

The hybrid Prius, which generates electricity to charge its own batteries while driving, will produce up to 196 hp, 62% more than the current model’s 121 hp. Toyota estimates it will also be able to drive about 57 miles per gallon of gasoline, compared to 56 mpg in the 2022 model year Prius Eco L.

As with the current Prius, the new version will be available with all-wheel drive, with a separate electric motor powering the rear wheels.

Toyota also unveiled a new version of the Prius Prime plug-in hybrid. The Prime uses more powerful batteries that are not only charged by the car itself, but can also be charged via a plug. With fully charged batteries, Toyota says the new Prius Prime will go at least 50% further without consuming gas like today’s Prius Prime does. That means it should be able to drive 37.5 miles or more in all-electric mode – compared to 25 in today’s Prius Prime model – and after that will switch between gas and electric as a standard hybrid. It will be able to produce up to 220 hp, 100 hp more than today’s Prius Prime.

The roofline is two inches lower than the current model and the car is also one inch wider. More expensive Prius XLE models get larger 19-inch wheels for a more eye-catching look. Inside, the new Prius has a display screen in front of the driver like most cars, rather than in the center of the dashboard like previous Prius models. There is also a large central touchscreen.

The extra power comes from new lithium-ion batteries and a slightly larger petrol engine. According to Toyota, the new battery pack is smaller and lighter than the ones previously used, but is still more powerful.

First coming to the United States as a model in 2001, the Prius – the name is Latin for “to go before” – helped introduce America to the idea of ​​fuel-efficient hybrid powertrains. The basic idea is that the car can sometimes be powered by electric motors, especially at lower speeds or when high power isn’t needed, allowing the petrol engine to be used as efficiently as possible.

The new Prius has a more conventional interior, with instruments in front of the driver rather than in the center of the dashboard.

The 2001 Prius achieved 41 miles per gallon combined using modern EPA rating standards. (When it came out, it was rated at 48 miles per gallon, but the EPA was using a more lenient rating system at the time.) With its gasoline engine and electric motor, it only managed 70 horsepower. Both horsepower and efficiency improved over the following four generations of the car. The Honda Insight Hybrid was available in America a year before the Prius and had significantly better fuel economy, but the Prius was a more popular and practical car and became the standard bearer for hybrids.

Toyota executives have insisted that hybrids, which are cheaper and easier to own than all-electric cars, offer a better opportunity than electric vehicles to reduce global vehicle emissions. Almost every vehicle in the Toyota range is now available with hybrid drive. There are hybrid versions of the Corolla and Camry sedans, as well as the Highlander and Rav4 SUVs. Even the huge Tundra pickup and Sequoia SUV are available as hybrids, and the Sienna minivan is only sold as a hybrid in the US.

While Toyota has introduced more hybrid models, Prius sales have increased from 9.5% of Toyota’s U.S. sales a decade ago to just 1.4% now, according to data from Edmunds.com.

Toyota has also unveiled an electric SUV concept.

Toyota is considered a latecomer when it comes to fully electric cars. The automaker just recently unveiled its first mainstream all-electric vehicle, long after others like GM, Ford and the Volkswagen Group had offered them. The electric SUV Toyota BZ4X was developed in cooperation with Subaru, who sell a nearly identical model. Shortly after the start of sales, however, the BZ4X had to be withdrawn from the market due to safety concerns. It was found that the wheels could become loose and even fall off. This issue is now resolved after months of investigation to find the root causes. Reuters has reported that Toyota is now rethinking its EV strategy.

Along with the Prius, Toyota also introduced the Toyota BZ compact SUV concept. Toyota has said it will one day offer 30 different pure electric vehicles and be carbon neutral by 2050 with a mix of electric and “alternative fuel” models.

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