Next Generation Prius Will be Bigger, More Powerful, More Fuel Efficient and Cheaper ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Next Generation Prius Will be Bigger, More Powerful, More Fuel Efficient and Cheaper

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Next Generation Prius Will be Bigger, More Powerful, More Fuel Efficient and Cheaper

Toyota PriusSeveral details have come out on the next generation Prius. We already knew the next generation Prius, despite what many hoped, would come with Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries, rather than Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) batteries. There is hope that Toyota will nail down their safety concerns and the Li-Ion batteries will replace the NiMH down the road, however.

But even without the next generation in batteries, the next Prius should make quite a splash. As one observer put it, "Still Prius-eque, but a bit bigger and more solid looking."

Toyota is adding 3-4 inches to the length and it will be one inch wider, but it won't be heavier than the current Prius.

The engine is increasing in size to 1797 cc, but it's still a four cylinder. The new 1.8 will increase the horsepower from 75 to 100, and combined with the electric motor, we can expect up to 160 total.

Despite the extra power, it will be more fuel efficient and the electric range will be extended to reinforce the fuel economy. If the estimates are right, the fuel efficiency will increase from 46 mpg combined to the low 50's.

I would imagine that all these numbers will increase significantly if Toyota does manage to eventually switch in Li-Ion battery packs into the new Prius. At half the weight, you can double the power out of the new batteries. But don't expect them anytime soon. Toyota is being very careful about implementation.

You might expect all those improvements to come with for an extra price, but according to Auto, Motor Und Sport (via truthaboutcars), the cost for Toyota to manufacture the new hybrid will be less. A Toyota manager has been quoted saying their "hybrid will then be cheaper than a modern diesel." In other words, they've managed to cut the hybrid components weight and cost by half.

Photo by kasei from flickr.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Funny how Toyota boosts mileage just in time for the introduction of VW's new clean burning, 50 state diesels. At least the diesels will have a true bio alternative to cut fuel costs but the latest news from VW is the US version can burn only B5 bio diesel where Europe can burn B100.

VW states this is because Europe uses ryegrass instead of soy in the US for its bio diesel. Just like Brazil uses sugercane ethenol, we are stuck with low energy corn ethenol in the U.S. Funny how the most advanced nation in the world gets second rate bio fuel. Intentional? Sure sounds like it to me. Like the automakers didnt know about better bio alternatives in other countries. Most people dont know that Exxon has a large stake in battery companies but im sure that has nothing to do with the snails pace of development in battery capacity.

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