Toyota has taken the wraps off an all-new version of its popular Prius hybrid car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Technical details on the third-generation are so far scant, but we are promised ‘even better fuel economy and performance and reduced full life-cycle emissions from manufacturing through to ultimate disposal.’
The new Toyota Prius uses a larger 1.8-litre petrol engine in combination with a thoroughly re-engineered ‘Hybrid Synergy Drive’ hybrid drivetrain. This means the electric motor and its associated components not only take up less space and offer lower weight, but also cost less, too.
New Prius platform
The new Prius is based on an all-new platform. Further helping to reduce weight, this is constructed using increased amounts of aluminium and ultra high-tensile steel. Refinements to the Prius’ familiar shape improve the aerodynamics.
Toyota apparently did more wind tunnel testing on this car than any other before it. Not only does the new Prius look sharper, a drag coefficient of 0.25 means it matches the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class as the most aerodynamically efficient mass-produced car in the world. This will help the Prius use even less fuel.
Changes also improve passenger room, while the reduced size of the hybrid drivetrain means more bootspace. The interior is said to be more ergonomic, promoting user-friendliness.
Full European specification details will be announced in March at the Geneva Motor Show. The all-new Toyota Prius goes on sale in the UK this summer.
Hybrid cars and cheaper fuel
To find out more about hybrid cars, and to read reviews of the , read our . If a new hybrid car is out of your reach, check out our guides to greener motoring and finding the cheapest fuel.
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