Toyota Prius V 2014

October 22, 2013

Toyota Prius is a full hybrid electric mid-size hatchback, formerly a compact sedan developed and manufactured by Toyota.

The EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) rate the Toyota Prius as among the cleanest vehicles sold in the United States based on smog-forming emissions.

Toyota Prius
Toyota Prius III 20090710 front.JPG
Manufacturer Toyota
Production 1997–present
Body and chassis
Class Compact car (1997–2003)Mid-size car (2003–present)
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel drive

The Toyota Prius first went on sale in Japan in 1997, and was available at all four Toyota Japan dealerships, making it the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle. It was subsequently introduced worldwide in 2000. The Prius is sold in almost 80 countries and regions, with its largest markets being those of Japan and the United States. Global cumulative Prius sales reached the milestone 1 million vehicle mark in May 2008, 2 million in September 2010, and passed the 3 million mark in June 2015. Cumulative sales of 1 million Prii were achieved in the U.S. by early April 2011, and Japan reached the 1 million mark in August 2011.

To order your new 2015 Toyota Prius V rival with a new Toyota 1.8L 4-cyl. Hybrid CVT Automatic for only US$17,000.

In 2011, Toyota expanded the Prius family to include the Toyota Prius v, an extended hatchback wagon, and the Toyota Prius c, a subcompact hatchback. The production version of the Prius plug-in hybrid was released in 2012. The Toyota Prius family reached global cumulative sales of 3.8 million units by June 2015, representing 71.7% of Toyota hybrid sales of 5.3 million Lexus and Toyota units sold worldwide since 1997. Global sales of the Prius c family passed the 500,000 mark in August 2015, with sales led by Japan with 448,703 Aquas, followed by the U.S. with 65,583 Prii c.

Etymology and terminology

Prius is a Latin word meaning “before”. According to Toyota, the name was chosen because the Toyota Prius was launched before environmental awareness became a mainstream social issue.

In February 2011, Toyota asked the public to decide on what the most proper plural form of Toyota Prius should be, with choices including Prien, Prii, Prium, Prius, or Priuses.  The company said it would “use the most popular choice in its advertising” and on February 20 announced that “Prii” was the most popular choice, and the new official plural designation. In Latin prius is the neuter singular of the comparative form (prior, prior, prius) of an adjective with only comparative and superlative (the superlative being primus, prima, primum), consequently, like all 3rd declension words, the plural in Latin was priora (cf. Latin declension) which was used by the Lada Priora in 2007.

Beginning in September 2011, Toyota USA began using the following names to differentiate the original Toyota Prius from some newer members of the Toyota Prius family: the standard Toyota Prius became the Prius Liftback, the Prius v (known as the Prius α in Japan, and Prius + in Europe), the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, and the Prius c (called Toyota Aqua in Japan).

First generation (XW10; 1997–2003)

Toyota Prius (XW10)
1st Toyota Prius -- 01-13-2010.jpg
Production 1997–2001 (NHW10)2001–2003 (NHW11)
Assembly Takaoka, later Toyota City (Motomachi), Japan
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door sedan

In 1995, Toyota debuted a hybrid concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show, with testing following a year later. The first Toyota Prius, model NHW10, went on sale on December 10, 1997. It was available only in Japan, though it has been imported privately to at least the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. The first generation Toyota Prius, at its launch, became the world’s first mass-produced gasoline-electric hybrid car. The NHW10 Prius styling originated from California designers, who were selected over competing designs from other Toyota design studios.

In the United States, the NHW11 was the first Toyota Prius to be sold. The Prius was marketed between the smaller Corolla and the larger Camry. The published retail price of the car was US$19,995. The NHW11 Toyota Prius became more powerful partly to satisfy the higher speeds and longer distances that Americans drive. Air conditioning and electric power steering were standard equipment. The vehicle was the second mass-produced hybrid on the American market, after the two-seat Honda Insight. While the larger Prius could seat five, its battery pack restricted cargo space.

The US EPA (CARB) classified the car with an air pollution score of 3 out of 10 as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV). Toyota Prius owners were eligible for up to a US$2,000 federal tax deduction from their gross income. In contrast with the NW10, Toyota executives stated that the company broke even financially on sales of the NHW11 Prius.

European sales began in September 2000. The official launch of the Toyota Prius in Australia occurred at the October 2001 Sydney Motor Show, although sales were slow until the NHW20 (XW20) model arrived. Toyota sold about 123,000 first generation Prii.

Second generation (XW20; 2003–2009)

Toyota Prius (XW20)
2nd Toyota Prius.jpg
Production 2003–2009 (Japan)2004–present (China)
Assembly Tsutsumi, Japan (Toyota City)Kariya, Aichi, Japan (Fujimatsu)Changchun, Jilin, China
Body and chassis
Body style 5-door liftback

In 2003 (for the 2004 US model year) the Toyota Prius was completely redesigned as a mid-size liftback, sized between the Corolla and the Camry, with redistributed mechanical and interior space significantly increasing rear-seat legroom and luggage room. The new Toyota Prius is even more environmentally friendly than the previous model (according to the EPA), and is 6 inches (150 mm) longer than the previous version. Its more aerodynamic Kammback body balances length and wind resistance, resulting in a drag coefficient of Cd=0.26. The development effort, led by chief engineer Shigeyuki Hori, led to 530 patents for the vehicle.

The Toyota Prius uses an all-electric A/C compressor for cooling, an industry first. Combined with a smaller and lighter NiMH battery, the XW20 is more powerful and more efficient than the XW10. In the U.S., the battery pack of 2004 and later models is warranted for 150,000 miles (240,000 km) or 10 years in states that have adopted the stricter California emissions control standards, and 100,000 miles (160,000 km) or 8 years elsewhere. The warranty for hybrid components is 100,000 miles (160,000 km) or 8 years.

It is classified as a SULEV (Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) and is certified by California Air Resources Board as an “Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle” (AT-PZEV).

From 2005 to 2009, the second generation Toyota Prius had been built by FAW-Toyota in the city of Changchun for the Chinese market. It was reported that a total of 2,152 Prii were sold in 2006 and 414 in 2007. The relatively low sales was blamed on high price, about US$15,000 higher than the equivalent in Japan or the U.S., caused by high duties on imported parts. In early March 2008, Toyota cut the price of Prius by up to eight percent or US$3,000 to CN¥ 259,800 (US$36,500). It was thought that the sales dropped as a result of both a lack of acceptance and increased competition. The Honda Civic Hybrid was exported to China from 2007.  Toyota sold about 1,192,000 second generation Prii worldwide.

Third generation (XW30; 2009–present)

Toyota Prius (XW30)
2010-2011 Toyota Prius -- 12-21-2011.jpg
Production March 2009–present
Model years 2010–present
Assembly Tsutsumi, Japan (Toyota City)Chachoengsao, Thailand (December 2010-present)
Changchun, Jilin, China
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size car
Body style 5-door liftback

Toyota debuted the new Prius (2010 US model year) at the January 2009 North American International Auto Show, and sales began in Japan on May 18, 2009. Toyota cut the price of the Prius from ¥2.331 million to ¥2.05 million to better compete with the Honda Insight, leading some to wonder whether increased sales of the Toyota Prius might come at the expense of sales of other vehicles with higher margins. Competition from lower priced hybrids, such as the Honda Insight, also made it difficult for Toyota to capitalize on the Prius’s success. As of June 2015, Toyota has sold about 1,688,000 third-generation Prii worldwide.

Its new body design is more aerodynamic, with a reduced drag coefficient of Cd=0.25. This figure is disputed by General Motors which found the value for the model with 17″ wheels to be around 0.30 based on tests in GM, Ford, and Chrysler wind tunnels. An underbody rear fin helps stabilize the vehicle at higher speeds.[citation needed]

The estimated fuel-efficiency rating, using the U.S. EPA combined cycle, is 50 mpg-US (4.7 L/100 km; 60 mpg-imp). The Toyota Prius was the most efficient car powered by liquid fuel available in the U.S. in 2009, based on the official rating. Only the first-generation Honda Insight (2000–2006) equipped with a manual transmission attained a lower fuel consumption rate. The official UK fuel efficiency data for the Prius T3 is Urban 72.4 mpg-imp (3.90 L/100 km; 60.3 mpg-US), Extra Urban 76.4 mpg-imp (3.70 L/100 km; 63.6 mpg-US), Combined 72.4 mpg-imp (3.90 L/100 km; 60.3 mpg-US).

The 1.8-liter gasoline engine (previously 1.5 liters) generates 98 hp (73 kW), and with the added power of the electric motor generates a total of 134 hp (100 kW) (previously 110 hp or 82 kW). The larger engine displacement allows for increased torque, reducing engine speeds (RPM), which improves fuel economy at highway speeds. Thanks to its electric water pump, the Prius engine is the first consumer automotive production engine that requires no accessory belts, which also further improves its fuel economy. The electric motors and other components of the hybrid powertrain are also smaller and more efficient than the industry average. Toyota estimates the new inverter, motor and transaxle are 20 percent lighter.

In constructing the Toyota Prius, Toyota used a new range of plant-derived ecological bioplastics, made out of cellulose derived from wood or grass instead of petroleum. The two principal crops used are kenaf and ramie. Kenaf is a member of thehibiscus family, a relative to cotton and okra; ramie, commonly known as China grass, is a member of the nettle family and one of the strongest natural fibres, with a density and absorbency comparable to flax. Toyota says this is a particularly timely breakthrough for plant-based eco-plastics because 2009 is the United Nations’ International Year of Natural Fibres, which spotlights kenaf and ramie among others.

Fourth generation

In August 2015, Toyota Managing Officer Satoshi Ogiso, who was chief engineer for the Prius line, announced some of the improvements and key features of the next generation Prius, expected to be introduced as early as 2015.

Toyota will test wireless charging for a future Prius PHV in 2015. Shown a demonstration presented during the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show.

Toyota will test wireless charging for a future Prius PHV in 2015. Shown a demonstration presented during the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show.

The next-generation Toyota Prius is being designed to deliver significantly improved fuel economy in a more compact package that is lighter in weight and lower in cost. These objectives are being achieved through the development of a new generation of powertrains with significant advances in battery, electric motor and gasoline engine technologies. The next Toyota Prius will feature improved batteries with higher energy density; smaller electric motors, with higher power density than the current Toyota Prius motors; and the gasoline engine will feature a thermal efficiency greater than 40% (in the current Prius is 38.5%). The Toyota Prius fuel economy has improved on average by about 10% each generation, and Toyota has set the challenge to continue to improve at this rate. The next Toyota Prius will feature the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), which provides a lower center of gravity and increased structural rigidity. These features, along with other improvements will allow for gains in ride-and-handling, agility and aerodynamics. The improved aerodynamics will contribute to an all-new exterior design, which includes a roomier interior.

Ogiso also explained that the next-generation Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid vehicle is being developed in parallel with the standard Toyota Prius model. Toyota is developing a new wireless or inductive charging system that produces resonance between an on-floor coil and an onboard coil to transmit power to the battery. The company plans to begin testing of the wireless battery charging system in Japan, the U.S. and Europe in 2015 for a future plug-in Toyota Prius. Toyota is also considering requests from Toyota Prius PHV owners for additional all-electric range.

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