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Rumors Rampant: Next-Gen 94MPG Prius by 2008?

The UK’s AutoExpress reports that Toyota’s fuel economy target for the upcoming next-generation Prius is 40 kilometers/liter (2.5 l/100km, or 94 mpg US), and that the automaker is striving to have the new Prius on the road as early as 2008.

According to a Toyota engineer quoted by the publication, the entire electrical system is being redesigned to improve the fuel economy, and the automaker is working to switch to a lithium-ion battery system from the NiMH pack used in the current Prius.

Part of the impetus for the dramatic improvement in fuel consumption is to position the Prius to compete more effectively against the more fuel-efficient diesels that now dominate the European market, according to the report.

At 94 mpg, the redesigned Prius would approach the lower end of the projected 100–150 mpg fuel consumption of EDrive’s aftermarket plug-in Prius. (Earlier post.) The EDrive conversion currently carries a price tag of about $12,000 in addition to the cost of the base Prius.

The AutoExpress report did not indicate if Toyota was working with a plug-in configuration, or if the company is exploring major changes in the combustion engine.

Comments

toyo

Many have already mentioned some potential technologies the new Prius can use, and let me just add to that:

- A Dual VVT-i, Direct Injection engine is quite probable.
- HCCI engine is possible, but not likely
- exhaust gas/thermo-electric generator quite possible, as Toyota already showed a concept Estima hybrid with such a system
- lithium-ion batteries will be used on the next Prius, lowering weight, while significantly increasing power output, and energy density. The battery pack is currently the heaviest component of Toyota's HSD
- reworking of the brake regeneration systems could yield an improvement
- making the electric motors smaller and lighter; such progress can be seen with every new hybrid Toyota rolls out; The GS450h and Camry Hybrid use quite a few smaller and lighter hybrid components than the current Prius
- improving the Cd of the Prius. Hard to do, but quite possible
- lowering the weight of the Prius, which would improve economy
- using a two-stage CVT, which would help highway economy
- 94mpg US, compared with the current EPA city rating of the Prius (60mpg), is about a 56% improvement in fuel economy, not double what some are saying. 56% improvement is quite realistic and achievable.

Keep in mind, Toyota doesn't need to make a big profit on the Prius. The next Prius is said to have a hybrid system that will cost half that of the current system. Combine that with other cost cutting measures Toyota has achieved in production, and even with some exotic technologies/materials, Toyota still might make a profit on the next Prius. Even at a slight loss, Toyota would gain from the Prius. Economies of scale would quickly eliminate that loss, as well as Toyota's way of continuous improvement. Toyota has more than enough profit to absorb any probable losses with the next Prius.

The next-gen Prius has been in development from what I understand since 2002/2003. Toyota has an army of over 1000 engineers devoted specifically for hybrid development, and probably add a bunch more engineers for the Prius development.

Also, to those that mentioned diesel-hybrids. There is one major problem with diesel-hybrids, and that is cost. A diesel engine compared to a naturally aspirated gasoline engine costs several thousand more in terms of production costs. On top of that, add another several thousands in costs for the hybrid system. Europe is obsessed with C02 emissions, but the fact is that even the current Prius has lower CO2 emissions than most Diesel competitors. More importantly, a gas-hybrid has much less overall emissions than diesel, like NOx.

If Toyota achieves it's goal, or close to it for the next Prius, European sales of the Prius may likely skyrocket. Such an economical yet practical car would cause huge waves in the industry.

kajic

Diesels do not cost more to produce. They are sold at a premium because manufacturers can charge a premium because of the better fuel economy and more often than not, better performance offerred by the diesel.

Kia started selling their 110bhp 1.5 litre diesel at the same price as the petrol version. They are not making a loss are they!

(several thousands more????) don't be naive!!

toyo

Yes, diesels DO cost more to *manufacture*. They also cost more going from automaker to dealer. Almost universally, diesels cost more than comparable (in displacement, technology, power) gasoline engines.

And I am specifically referring to modern diesels, not old outdated diesels. Modern diesels use a vast amount of technology to keep emissions and particulates low, as well as to boost fuel economy, performance, and refinement.

Even the best diesels in the world are still not as refined as a good gas engine.

Lukas

A2 1.2 TDI slow? Get lost! It's got more torque than my old MR2 Mk1 and weighs a lot less!

It will leave a honda insight standing on a hill climb and 30- 70 mph (real world driving as opposed to silly 0-60mph) it will leave even the newest Prius in the dust!

We had 94 mpg in 2000! I'm still driving it and loving it - it will take 4 adults and their luggage on the autobahn at 100mph all day (traffic permitting!). Averaged 58mpg at an average (yes!) 90mph on autobahn. If you stay at 55mph it will return 110 to 120 mpg.


Even had a washing machine in the back - so space is not an issue. Safety wise it has the best brakes in the business and a superb NCAP crash safety rating. Plus no big batteries for the fire crews to worry about if they had to cut you out of the wreckage!

kaz

Toyo,

All i can say is you must live in the self absorbed bubble that is the US to say that a modern diesel is not as refined as a 'good' petrol engine.

You have never driven a merc cdi or a lexus IS diesel to say such a thing. These engines are nothing but silky thrums in the background, and you would be doing crazy speeds to really be above 3000rpm due to the masses of torque available idle.

To link this to the post, the sooner Toyota sort out this tech in the prius (for the massive Euro market if anything) the better. 94mpg is soooo yesterday!!

GK Hubert

I drive an 05 Prius, my mileage has been as high as 60mpg and as low as 43 in the winter with snows. It always starts no matter how cold, as low as -20F. Diesels will struggle in those conditions, and while europe has embraced diesels, if I am not mistaken much of that switch came due to the lower price of diesel fuel. Here in the USA, diesel is selling for a 5-10% premium over 87 octane gas, largely negating any fuel savings by paying a fuel premium. Regardless hybrids are going to be a great transition vehicle over the next decade until battery technology really develops. We could do far worse, and I am pleased that Toyota has a vision, my hat is off to them and all of you that keep on thinking forward. Now does anybody have any good hop up tips to increase my Prius quarter mile speed? I hit 81 mph last year, any thoughts om how to bump that up to 90?

alex

all i know is that more automakers need to follow in toyotas footsteps. there are currently huge waiting lists for the prius and all other hybrid cars made by toyota, even the lexus 450h. realistically anyone can speculate on what they will make the new hybrid prius out of but realistically who cares, we will find out when it is actually produced. i am hoping that with the next generation prius there will be an option package to make it a plug in hybrid if it is already not a standard plug in hybrid. i definately do believe that hybrid technology will continue its advancement and be the standard for all cars in about ten years. im planning on purchasing a next generation toyota prius.

Dima

No, DIESEL is "soooo yesterday." Having fun comparing a very low emission GASOLINE/ELECTRIC car vs your diesel pollutionmobile? Apples to oranges. Probably in imperial gallons as well. You lose.

Electric for the win.

smarty

No car I ever owned is better than my three cylinder Geo metro.
I made 52 MPG driving to portland against a headwind at 60 mph.

I just put my second motor in it and new transmission good for another 122,000 miles.
my old motor wasnt bad, but I just changed it for peace of mind.
cost: 2000 bucks

cant beat that.
one night in my garage, they are easy to fix by yourself too.

smarty

12,000 dollars will buy 4000 gallons of gas for me.
plus I would have to buy a prius, what do carsw sell for now? its so rediculous.

my metro brand new cost me 6500. that was 120,000 miles ago.

4000 gallons will take me 208,000 miles!
I only have 120,000 on it!
it is not worth going electric on a prius and spending 12,000 and 15000 dollars!
I can buy a used geo metro for 800 and put a new moter and transmission in for 2000 and have a better car for under 3 grand.

for a prius with electric conversion I can make 9 new driving geo metros.
when gas hits 6 bucks a gall I can go 100,000 miles on my geo for the 12,000 conversion.

get real, these new fangled cars are not worth it.
get a good oldy that runs well.

marcus

Facinating thread. I personally am doubtful the Prius (or any other gas car) can achieve real-world 150 mpg.

My 2005 50cc 4-stroke Honda scooter can do 150mpg (barely) and this is pushing the limits of power/weight/distance ratios.

Being in Canada, I can only dream of cars like the Audi A2 or Honda's new 50mpg Accord Wagon w/ 2.2 i-cdti diesel engine.

Any news on if these are coming to North America?

Isidore

Going back for a moment to the issue of plugins, this is a complete non starter in most of Europe. In old cities everywhere, most people park in the street and do not have driveways/ garages. Where are they going to plug in their plug ins??? You can't trail power leads across the sidewalk/ pavement, even if you manage to park directly outside your own house. Certainly in the UK it's illegal and very hazardous for pedestrians.

Nick G

Parking meters with power outlets. It's done in Canada, for engine heaters.

sbs

hi,
do you think i should wait to get a Prius til '08 or'09 ?
i want one now, but if they are really going to make all these improvements, wouldn't you wait ? are these rumors true ?
is the new car coming out in '08 or '09 ?
thanks,

Gary Loftis

Nick,

Since the 2008 intro is only +/- 4 months away, I'd wait, because it looks like 2008 will see some major improvements.

LpqB

I am going to wait till the new ones come even though it is likely they will be very difficult to get a hold of. I figure the newer technology will boost the current freeway Prius mileage from 50 to 55 or 60. Still worth it for a vehicle of 24K or so. Also, they are suppose to reduce the added costs of 4200 to only 2200 or so for the hybrids.

Teresa

Hi "-)
Really happy to see an intelligent forum.. very encouraging..
I have a 300C, which, 29 city high 30's highway, and an engine that shuts down to 4 cyls, as needed... Im not doing too badly compared to some fuel efficient compact I saw test driving yesterday.. my car was actually getting better mileage!..But.. I would really like to experience the 45+ my inlaws are getting with their Prius. So.. test drove an 07.. and it made me car sick.. there was that engage, disengage, from electric to gasoline.. Ive never driven a hybrid before, and the sales person was quite friendly in explaining the "love boat effect".. "-) It did make me nauseated enough where someone else had to drive back.. but.. again.. I really would like to see some of this awesome gas pump passing technology! Question would be.. is there a way to make the ride smoother without the engage, disengage.. process.. and secondly, I do live in Denver, will it really make it over those mountains without being run over by the army of space shuttle sized SUV's we suffer from here? Will it keep up, make it over the divide.. etc.. As we did do an ascent up the beginning of I70 west bound, up into the mountains.. we noticed the battery indicator was draining rapidly before our eyes.. so I was just curious how that works.. if it has the energy for the haul, power.. etc.. Or if it runs out and you have another problem "-)
Thank you.. ventured to share and ask because this really is a nice forum.. and intelligence is to be found here! Good job!
Ok, have a good one!
:-)
Teresa
Denver, CO
PS.. The 16th St Mall bus rocks.. the kids and I take it all the time.. you can walk if you like, and you can ride if you get tired or need to.. its just neat.. And I do agree, public transpo really can be free.. if we stop allowing private corps to give their CEO's a few billion in bonuses alone, each year.. and maybe tax'd and rerouted it back into public funding of public transportation and transpo R&D.. We all pay taxes, so its not really "free".. but the cost is leveraged over an entire population, taking the personal financial hit out of it.. vs private car ownership, insurance and fuel expense.. at least, publicly, everyone has a choice, as a society.. which helps those who really cant afford.. or even drive a car..we all need to get around, and it would be great if the few making the most would think about the most that make the least "-)
Looking forward to ideas and comments.. very excited to join the fuel efficiency revolution.. which in fact, this really is!
:-)

Dan Browne

What many of the US posters fail to realise is that a Prius is a fairly large vehicle in Europe. The average vehicle is probably the size of the Geo Metro.
Virtually every vehicle in Europe beats 40mpg already and many of them are up there in the 50mpg range.
This is due to the much smaller average size and weight of vehicles as well as many of them being diesel.
In addition: if diesel engines cost so much more, then I find it hard to believe that the manufacturers would be charging no premium (or very little premium).

Also: most everybody I have talked to in Europe has never heard of the Prius or even hybrids so my guess is they won't take off there without a big marketing push.

Moreover: the other poster is right: Europe will need some infrastructure in order for plugins to be viable as many vehicles are simply parked in the street.

Don

I never stop being amaized at the responses. I swear the are people out ther that would question a free trip to Heaven! THe real truth is cars like diesel hybrids with great batteries will allow bidiesel, change the carbon and oil landscape, allow people to live further away from work if they want to without runined their economy or our enviroment. Detroit is dead, and the rest need to get a life.

Peter Ross

There are different types of pollution in a diesel and a gasoline engine...

But what people lose focus on is that no matter what type of engine there is a specific amount of pollution for every gallon of fuel burned... So a diesel has higher NoX concentrations...This problem is moot if technology doubles or triples the mileage... Because you reach a point where so little fuel is burned that the overall pollution is not a problem...And would meet the stringiest standards.

The Audi A2 is an example of this... The poster that said it gives 100+ miles to the gallon needs to understand that a european gallon is larger than an american gallon and that changes the mileage...In america there are 3.78 litres per gallon so a car that uses 2.99 litres of fuel per 100 Kilometres burns .079 gallons of fuel for 62 miles...That is not 100+ miles per gallon...More like 80 miles to the gallon...

Which is still awesome.

But the emissions from a car that gives 80+ miles to the gallon are going to be very limited...because it will burn half or one third the fuel compared to an average american car. With Clean low sulphur diesel and advanced catalytic filters to burn Nox emissions...The myth that diesels are dirty is a purely a myth.

Detroit and the US government does not want to see cars like the A2 reach american soil...a quiet refined bulletproof diesel that gives an honest to goodness 80 miles to the gallon in a roomy sedan that has power enough to be fun...That would become the number one selling car in america hands down... And it would kill revenues for the US government...Which other than income tax rely heavily on fuel taxes as a source of revenue

Cars like the A2...and affordable hybrids would mean a serious drop in overall consumption and thus a serious drop in demand...If demand falls the price of fuel falls...So if you sell say 1/3rd less fuel...and it costs approximately one third less due to drops in demand...The government is going to lose tens and hundreds of billions of dollars in fuel revenues...

So in america we are told that diesels are dirty, noisy smelly unrefined... too expensive

And the best fuel economy we see from a domestic car gives you 37 miles to the gallon 40 at the most... When a TDI version of the Aveo would give 60 miles to the gallon no problem at all...maybe even a little more.

But a cheap abundant car that gives 60 miles to the gallon is not something the US government and oil companies want to see made available...

I laugh because I read in the paper that Americans would never drive the european economy car...They are smaller with a little less power..And they give double the fuel mileage per gallon!!!

Newsflash folks...America has never truly been given the choice to drive the efficient fuel economy type cars... American cars are 40 years behind the times when it comes to fuel economy.

colo

About the Denver hybrid buses:

1) RTD the operator has NOT published MPG, nor g*CO2/mile
2) Battery and propulsion had been completely replaced more than once, at unspecified cost.

I highly suspect it has been a money sink, with no real world results to brag about.

I am curios about any fact suggesting otherwise

mapquest

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