Toyota Introduces New Prius Models at 2011 NAIAS
DETROIT - At the 2011 North American International Auto Show Toyota introduced two new Prius models, the Prius v and Prius c concept vehicle, which join the company’s current third-generation Prius and the soon-to-be released Prius Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle.
The Prius v shares the current third-generation Prius’ platform and Hybrid Synergy Drive technology. According to Toyota, the Prius v offers EPA estimated fuel economy ratings of 42 mpg city, 38 mpg highway, 40 mpg combined, and will emit 66 percent less emissions than the average new vehicle. Toyota added that the vehicle has a low drag coefficient of 0.29. Other performance characteristics include engine horsepower of 98 at 5,200 rpm, net horsepower of the hybrid system of 134 and 105 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm.
The vehicle also offers 50-percent more interior room than the third-generation Prius, with seating for five. The sliding second row seats offer a 45-degree recline angle. The Prius v provides 34.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the 60/40 split folding rear seats. A driver can reconfigure the rear seats into four arrangements to accommodate passengers and luggage and the fold-flat front-passenger seat makes room for long cargo. Its interior also features a high seating position and 38-inch couple distance for more legroom.
The Prius v offers four driving modes: Normal, Power, Eco, and EV, designed for a range of road conditions and driver preferences. The vehicle also features as standard a Smart Key System with Push Button Start, an electronic shift level, Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), and a back-up camera. Available options include LED headlamps, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with a Pre-Collision System (PCS), and Advanced Parking Guidance System.
Toyota said its new Prius v provides a number of safety features, including seven airbags, a high-strength cabin, and an energy-absorbing body structure with impact beams, cross members and leg absorption pads. The automakers aid a new seating design for the driver and front passenger seat reduces possible whiplash injury during a collision. Like all Toyota models, the Prius v will feature Toyota’s Star Safety System as standard, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. It also features the standard Smart Stop Technology brake-override system.
The Prius v is also one of the first new Toyota models with the company’s Entune multimedia system, which provides fully integrated and wireless upgradeable navigation, entertainment and information services. The Entune system also integrates with mobile phones and offers a conversational voice recognition system that is designed to help the driver focus on the road. The Entune provides travel-related services, such as live weather, traffic and fuel information (including location and price) in addition to a range of other entertainment features. The Entune system will also read-back and replay text messages via audio, and the user can pre-set “Quick Reply Messages.”
The 2012 Prius v will go on sale in late summer 2011, according to Toyota.
The automaker’s new Prius c concept vehicle is a small “city-centric” entry-level hybrid with, according to Toyota, superior fuel economy. The company said the Prius c Concept is the inspiration for an additional Prius model that will come to market in the first half of 2012.
For Toyota’s new Prius Plug-in Hybrid a driver can travel 13 miles at 60 mph on battery power alone. The lithium-ion battery takes three hours to charge on 110 volts and 1.7 hours to charge on 220 volts. After the vehicle’s battery power is depleted, the Plug-in operates like a third-generation Prius.
The company said its Plug-in will be initially offered in 14 West and East Coast states (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Virginia and New Hampshire) where nearly 60 percent of all Prius models are currently sold. Availability in all remaining states will be a year later, according to Toyota.