News / Motoring
Thursday, June 04, 2009
New Toyota Prius III - 2010
Image: © 2009 Toyota Media Europe (Enhanced)

New 2010 Toyota Prius III Offers Advanced Efficiency

AICHI, JAPAN - Toyota Motor Corporation has announced a release date for their new 2010 Prius III model as June 27, 2009 within parts of Europe. Toyota says that the new Prius III offers a 22% increase in power and a 14% improvement in fuel economy from the previous model. On the emissions front, the new Prius emits a very low 89 g/km CO2 output, and Toyota says that the new 2010 Prius even utilizes some plastics and foams derived from plants for many components within the car. Additionally, this new Toyota has exceptional aerodynamics, achieving a low 0.25 drag coefficient (Cd). There is also a new integrated roof-mounted solar panel that powers the ventilation system and further improves the car's efficiency during high solar conditions.

In designing the new Prius III, Toyota has engineered 90% of the car as completely revised from the previous model. A new 1.8 L VVT-i Atkinson cycle petrol (gasoline) powers the new 2010 model Prius, and the engine utilises an exhaust gas recycling system to help reduce overall emissions. The new Toyota engine delivers 136 hp over the older model's 110 hp, a 22% increase in power. The Prius III accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.5 mph) in a brisk 10.4 seconds.

Fuel efficiency is excellent on the new 2010 Prius III and the car achieves a combined 3.9 L/100 km (60.3 U.S. MPG / 72.4 Imp MPG), making it one of the most efficient hydrocarbon 5-passenger cars sold. In pure highway driving conditions, the car achieves 3.7 L/100 km (63.6 U.S. MPG / 76.4 Imp MPG) on its standard 15" low rolling resistance tires.

In pure zero emissions mode (electric power), the new Prius can reach up to 50 km/h (31.3 mph) before the engine starts to supplement the 60 kW power of the Hybrid Drive electric motor. The new electric drive motor in the 2010 Prius is 20% more powerful and 33% more compact than the prior hybrid drive system of the earlier model. The electric motor is powered by an NiMH (nickel metal hydride) battery, with an increased maximum power output of 27 kW, which Toyota says allows for a longer period for zero emissions battery only driving than in the previous version.

Powertrain characteristics of the new Prius are that it offers a fully automatic hybrid drive system, or the driver can manually select an 'on demand' EV mode (electric drive) for zero emissions driving at slower speeds and for short commutes. An 'ECO Drive Monitor' displays the functioning of the hybrid drive system, and also gives feedback of the driver's efficiency zone, and the average fuel consumption.

For the exterior features, the new Prius is available with either 15" or 17" alloy wheels, and there are seven available colours including three new unique Toyota 'hybrid specific' colours of White Pearl, Abyss Grey, and Dark Blue. The overall length of the new Prius III has been slightly increased to 4460 mm (+15mm) and the overall width increased to 1745 mm (+20 mm). The wheelbase, however, remains the same from the previous Prius model.

Inside the 2010 Prius has newly designed front seats with improved ergonomics, comfort and adjustment. As previously mentioned, there is a solar ventilation system, powered by an exterior flush-mount roof solar panel, that can provide 100% of the system's power needs in high solar conditions. The front console display panel is touch sensitive, and there is a head's up display, and an Intelligent Parking Assist System.


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