Next-Gen Prius Will be Sportier
03 October 2008
In addition to having lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions than the current model, the next-generation Toyota Prius will be lot more sporty, said Toyota Great Britain managing director Miguel Fonseca at the Paris Auto Show.
It will be cleaner, with CO2 emissions below 100g/km. We could have gone lower, but instead we have chosen to give the Prius better performance.—Miguel Fonseca
Despite rival manufacturers’ moves toward diesel hybrids, Toyota believes the high price of diesel compared to gasoline means it makes no sense to switch the fossil fuel.
Sportier? Better performance?
For people who buy four door cars not called Prius, is their complaint that the Prius isn't sporty enough? Maybe, but that's not what my instincts tell me. Seems to me they either want lower price or more luxury or American or just a different look. I think they should have looked to keep performance flat and looked at finding the sweet spot between mpg and sticker price.
Posted by: stomv | 03 October 2008 at 02:18 PM
Toyota missed the point here, the only peformances the Prius owner want is hyper-mileag they don't car aboout 0-60mPH in less than 10s. Toyota is going the wrong way, if they had the opportunity to get better mileage they should have gone for it. Prius customer are perfectly fine with the performances as they are.
Posted by: Treehugger | 03 October 2008 at 05:49 PM
well i dunno the 1.5 is usually overtax (beyond efficient rpm) to meet the needs of the worlds daily drivers.
Toyota felt that the 1.8 liter will hopefully be more in that efficient rpm range (best bang for your buck = fuel used to power ratio) for today's generation of drivers. And if the rpm is below engine efficiency (low loads), hopefully a new upgraded NIMH type of battery is there to make up the mileage loss.
Posted by: philmcneal | 03 October 2008 at 05:55 PM
Strange comment. I own a Prius. It is very roomy for passengers in the back as well as in the front.
I can "burn rubber" and leave a lot of cars in the dust. I do this sometimes to make the guy with the sporty car feel bad.
I don't want more sporty. I want a bigger battery. At leat 4x bigger. And I want to be able to plug it in.
Is that asking for too much?
Posted by: TM | 03 October 2008 at 06:36 PM
I would agree with TM on this one. My 2006 Prius is the best production car I have ever owned. It only has one problem, it still uses gas.
The salesman here in SLC already knows that he can count one more sale (me) as soon as they have a plug in option.
Until that time I will keep driving my EV http://www.evalbum.com/2058 for short trips and I will keep the Prius for longer drives.
Posted by: zevutah | 03 October 2008 at 07:01 PM
Nothing new here, we have known the next Generation Prius will be better, no matter the criteria. Better looking, better mileage, better acceleration, better HSD, and on and on. It has a bigger battery, 2.6 KWh rather than 1.3, with a 7 mile AER, and better top speed in all electric mode, 60 plus verses 30 plus. In 2010 a plug in version will be marketed to fleet buyers, and the 2011 model should offer a retail PHEV with greater than a 7 mile range using a lithium battery. Time will tell if all these claims will be fulfilled.
Posted by: Van | 03 October 2008 at 07:43 PM
Forget about a new lithium battery. Use the old battery and put any sized ZEBRA battery into the car to feed it or to take from it. The car will still run in HEV mode not PHEV if the ZEBRA battery is not working. Diverted exhaust may be able to heat the ZEBRA battery to a working temperature after a few tens of miles if it had been too cold.
The car should not be changed at all except to raise the full electric speed and to give all versions instant PHEV if an addional battery and controller is attached.
The proposed modifications just raise the production price.
Posted by: Henry Gibson | 03 October 2008 at 09:21 PM
WHY IS TOYOTO NOT COMING OUT WITH TRIAL VERSIONS OF PLUG IN CARS. OPEC WILL GET A VERY STRONG MESSAGE AND WORLD WILL START MOVING TO GREEN ENERGY AT A STROKE. INDIA AND CHINA CAN LEAP FROG TO GREEN AGE INSTEAD OF FOLLOWING POLLUTED WORLD OF PRESENT AUTO INDUSTRY. TOYOTO DONT WASTE A DAY MORE.MAKE THE WORLD MORE GREEN.
Posted by: NIRMALKUMAR WALA | 04 October 2008 at 12:09 AM
More powerfull e-motor (ie torquier) will provide faster acceleration, often termed as "better performance".
And the same e-motor is used to generate braking torque.
Isn't it very natural that an e-motor that can generate higher traction torque, can also produce higher braking torque during deceleration, ie regen braking?
Higher braking torque means more electricity is generated when braking in city driving, provided the EESU (batts, Ultracaps) can quickly absorb that energy. Larger EESU, or the one with higher power density is more likely to quicker absorb regen energy.
The fact is that for most cars in city driving the rate of deceleration (during braking) is usually much higher than rate of acceleration (are loose items in your trunk more often found at the front or at the rear end?).
This means that there is room in Prius for e-motor with more (braking) torque, the current one is not super torquey.
The point is that in cars with electric drive with regen braking, more powerful motor usually means it is capable of recouperating more energy at braking, giving better mileage in city driving.
The price is higher motor price, and a little more weight.
Posted by: MG | 04 October 2008 at 01:11 AM
You aren't "burning rubber" your tires are slipping because they are low rolling resistance tires that a Geo Metro could spin.
BTW- someone in a "sporty" car would have no intention of "showing off" to the guy in the Prius. It really isn't as fast as you think it is. If you really believe it to be so fast take it down to the dragstrip where racing belongs (not on the streets) and then show us a racing slip with your 1/4 mile times.
Posted by: | 04 October 2008 at 01:18 AM
Van, the configuration you mention (two 1.3 kWh standard NiMH packs in parallel) is simply what is being used for the current PHEV test mules racking up the miles right now in testing in Europe and California. The next generation Prius will be quite different from this arrangement.
Posted by: clett | 04 October 2008 at 05:00 AM
Yes Clett, time will tell if the next Generation Prius has a 1.3 or about a 2.6 KWH battery. The spring of 2009 is going to be interesting.
Posted by: Van | 04 October 2008 at 10:03 AM
By coming out and saying this, it'll get people speculating about the power of the Prius. It probably won't be that fast, but, for people who find a fast car important, which is a lot, it will raise a question that perhaps a test drive will be needed to answer. Plus torque sells cars, and electric motors make a lot of it.
Posted by: Elliot | 04 October 2008 at 01:49 PM
There is more to "sporty" than just acceleration. I test drove a Prius. I despised it.
Lack of acceleration is one thing, but I hated the over-assisted numb-feeling power steering, limp too-soft suspension, and lack of grip(cornering) from the skinny low-rolling-resistance tires.
I bought a VW instead.
A hybrid vehicle does not HAVE to be dull as dishwater.
Posted by: Brian P | 04 October 2008 at 04:54 PM
Reading the comments left up to now, it is clear the customer "DOES NOT WANT BETTER PERFORMANCE".
What's happening with you Toyota?
Are you deaf?
THE CUSTOMER WANTS BETTER MPG, MUCH BETTER MPG AND A LARGER BATTERY ALL THAT AT AN AFORDABLE PRICE.
Posted by: Aron Bill | 04 October 2008 at 11:49 PM
When will the car companies realize that when consumers shop for an economical car, were not looking for Performance or Sport look. Detroit deserves to go bankrupt since they are all brain washed by this concept
Posted by: Ryan | 05 October 2008 at 10:39 AM
As a Prius owner for more than one year now, I wouldn't mind a small reduction in performance as a trade off for better fuel efficiency, because the current Prius actually has more performance than I ever need.
But the reason that the Prius is so popular is that it doesn't sacrifice performance, comfort, or roominess for fuel economy.
The reason that the previous fuel efficient cars, VW Golf 5L, VW Lupo 3L, and Audi A2 3L, failed, is because they made sacrifices for fuel economy. Most people who talk green are not willing to make any sacrifices when it actually comes time to put their money where their mouth is, and actually buy a car.
If Toyota catered to the minority of people who are willing to make sacrifices for better fuel economy, then it would sell very few such cars, and thus very little fuel would be saved overall. By making the Prius attractive to the majority of people, who are not willing to make sacrifices for fuel economy, Toyota is able to sell many more fuel efficient cars, thereby saving much, much more fuel overall than by selling only a tiny number of super fuel efficient cars.
Also, some of the changes which improve fuel economy, such as better batteries, more efficient electric motors and power electronics, and increased ICE expansion ratio, also lead to improved performance as a by product. So there would have been some improvement in performance anyway.
Posted by: Fred H | 06 October 2008 at 02:54 AM
good summary fred, exactly where the new honda insight is going, for the masses instead of just for the enthusiast.
Posted by: philmcneal | 06 October 2008 at 06:12 AM
They have sold a lot of cars with version one and two styling and performance. The next version may have to be a bit more exciting to stay ahead of competition that is (finally) coming to the market.
Posted by: sjc | 06 October 2008 at 09:45 PM
Very well said Fred, they're trying aim the Prius at the mass market instead satisfying a much smaller niche market. If they can get normal Corolla and Camry drivers to change into a prius, boy, how much more Priuses will that make?
Posted by: | 10 October 2008 at 01:19 AM