Toyota has just unveiled the third generation Prius at the Melbourne International Motorshow. The new Prius is the first car to go on sale in Australia to cut CO2 emissions to below 100 grams per kilometre.
Expected to be on sale by July, Toyota says the new Prius brings with it a list of world and Toyota firsts and is the finest example yet of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive technology.
“We expect power gains of at least 20 per cent and significantly improved torque characteristics, at the same time as cutting fuel use by approximately 10 per cent. As a result, Prius owners will enjoy greater driving pleasure while having less impact on the environment." Toyota Australia senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner
Instead of the existing Prius' 1.5-litre engine, the new uses a bigger 1.8-litre (but more efficient) engine.
Toyota says despite some similarities in looks, the actual Hybrid Synergy Drive system in the third-generation Prius is 90 per cent newly developed with significant improvements.
There are now a few modes you can pick from. Electric only, eco and power – so that you can get the best possible fuel economy.
Toyota has even gone to the extent of using plant-based plastic for the seat-cushion foam and other areas. Apparently this helps reduce dependency on oil.
Some interesting new technologies include a remote air-conditioning system that functions on battery power alone. Dynamic radar cruise control, a pre-collision system, intelligent parking assist and a completely belt-less engine.
Meanwhile the car's drag coefficient is 0.25 Cd – the slipperiest shape of any mass-produced car (bar the new E-class AMG of course!).
To top it all off, and to make sure the Green credentials are carried through in full, the new Prius even has solar panels on the roof that power a ventilation system.
It will be quicker than the outgoing model but use about 10 per cent less fuel on the official combined cycle.
According to Toyota, the new Prius is not only a great ultra-low emission hybrid car, but it now has mainstream appeal.