|The Aqua hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) launched the Aqua gasoline-electric compact hybrid—to be marketed as the Prius c in the US—in Japan. The Aqua features a small 1.5-liter Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) with reduction gear, which achieves fuel efficiency of 35.4 km/L (83.3 mpg US, 2.8 L/100km) under the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s (MLIT’s) JC08 test cycle and 40.0 km/L (94 mpg US, 2.5 L/100km) under the MLIT 10-15 test cycle.
Toyota’s starting price for the Aqua is ¥1.69 million (US$21,685); the monthly sales target for Japan is 12,000 units.
|Key Hybrid System Specifications|
|Maximum engine output||54 kW (72 hp)/4,800 rpm|
|Maximum engine torque||111 N·m (82 lb-ft)/3,600—4,400 rpm|
|Maximum motor output||45 kW (60 hp)|
|Maximum motor torque||169 N·m (125 lb-ft)|
|Combined maximum output||73 kW (98 hp)|
A cooled Exhaust-Gas Recirculation (EGR) system improves efficiency in the high-expansion-ratio Atkinson cycle engine. Also contributing to increased engine efficiency is a battery-powered water pump, a friction-reducing beltless design and precise coolant-water-flow volume control.
The hybrid transaxle, which includes the power control unit, the power-generation motor and drive motor, has also been designed to be small and light.
A selectable electric-vehicle mode (EV Mode) enables driving with only the electric motor.
The hybrid battery has been sized for placement under the rear seat, resulting in a cargo area of 305 liters (10.8 ft3).
Engine and motor power combine to provide smooth acceleration from standstill to 100 km/h in 10.7 seconds and also at mid-range speeds, such as from 40 km/h to 70 km/h in 3.6 seconds (all measurements according to TMC). With a minimum turning radius of 4.8 meters, the Aqua also offers excellent maneuverability.
The Hybrid System Indicator on the instrument panel offers information concerning eco-driving, such as effective accelerator use. In addition to the standard display, an optional high-resolution thin-film-transistor liquid crystal multi-information display provides a variety of eco-driving information. Eco Judge ranks eco-driving on a 100-point scale, and Eco Wallet shows money saved as compared with other levels of fuel efficiency.
ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) maximizes braking performance, with the EBD appropriately distributing braking force between the front and rear wheels according to driving conditions. Also, a brake assist function generates extra braking force to assist the driver in emergency braking situations.
Vehicle Stability Control controls brake and engine output to maintain vehicle stability if skidding occurs. Traction Control controls wheel spin to simplify acceleration operation. Hill-start Assist Control reduces anxiety about the vehicle rolling backwards when starting on a steep incline.
Automatic air conditioning comes standard on all models and is equipped with an electric inverter compressor run by the electric motor, enabling a comfortably air-conditioned interior even when the engine is off.
In addition to seat heaters, the exhaust heat recirculation system draws heat from the engine directly into the cooling water, enhancing heating performance and fuel efficiency in the winter.