Tag: new prius
The Toyota Prius is recognized as an efficient vehicle, but efficiency isn’t the same thing as fun, fast or enjoyable. For that reason, for years only the most practical have picked up the Prius, but is all that about to change? According to recent reviewers, the 2017 Toyota Prius is quite a bit different than its predecessors. Not only is it highly efficient and practical, but it’s also a blast to drive around, or at least that’s becoming the common consensus. This car isn’t a high-performance sports vehicle by any means, but it’s not the sluggish econobox that it once was either. It’s a good blend of the two, and it’s something that’s growing on a lot of reviewers.
You probably already know, but I’m going to go over a few of the most important numbers for the 2017 Prius before talking about how it drives. It comes with a four-cylinder 1.8 liter engine and two motors to create a total of 121 HP to drive the vehicle forward effectively. All the power produced by the system is held in a 3.6 amp Li-ion battery pack, that offers acceleration at lower speeds when it’s most efficient. The car is rated at 54 MPG in the city, 50 on the highway and a blended MPG of 52 MPG, which is of course impressive. Okay, now the numbers are out of the way and we can get to how it drives.
The Driving Experience
I’m not going to dwell on the actual features of the vehicle for long, because most people already know that it’s efficient, or that it relies on a hybrid power setup to go from standing still to moving around. That’s not the story I’m interested in telling. Instead I’ll focus on how this little beauty handles, because that’s the exciting part.
The Prius relies on its electric motors to whir it into motion. These motors are highly efficient at low speeds and dramatically increase fuel efficiency by handling early acceleration, but they also offer plenty of torque. You’ll be amazed at how fast this little car takes off, and it does so nice and smoothly.
Sure it loses steam as you get into the higher range, but it’s not sluggish by any means. The Prius is a smooth rider that provides an almost tranquil driving experience as you glide along down the road. It blends regenerative braking with hydraulic disc brakes to create smooth stopping power that’s highly effective. The 2017 Prius is also remarkably light on its feet, this is largely because it’s a very lightweight vehicle at around 3,000 lbs.
The car offers exceptional viewing and decent maneuvering power thanks to well-positioned mirrors that give a nice full view of what’s behind you. This car is more than capable of dicing through rush hour traffic and you won’t have a second thought about speeding past some of the slower drivers that get in your way.
Sure the Prius isn’t the fastest car out on the road, but it’s far from the slowest either. It’s capable, comfortable and pretty fun to drive around, and it’s a worthy option for anyone that likes fuel efficiency and straightforward driving.
The 2016 Toyota Prius is planned to debut in just a week from now, and it was expected that someone would leak photos before that date. Well now we have them, and what’s surprising about this new model isn’t that it’s pretty refreshing (though it is), it’s that the 2016 Prius looks a lot like the Mirai. That resemblance is really obvious out back of the Prius, but there are a few other similarities around the vehicle as well.
What’s New Out Front?
The seemingly happy face of the 2015 Toyota Prius out front has been transformed into a more aggressive scowl on the 2016 version. The headlights are more swooped and angular, the grille is lower down and thinner and the fog lights go off at a more aggressive curve than before. The end result is a clearly more aggressive and sportier vehicle, and I’m really digging it.
Take a Look at the Rear
At the rear of the 2016 Prius you get a lot of styling cues taken straight from the Mirai. It’s got a very similar lighting setup with lights that curve and angle down toward the floor in close to a scythe shape. The car also has that same “floating” roof design, making use of black pillars to give the roof a floating look nearly identical to what the Mirai has going for it. The Prius has a higher tail in the back than the Mirai however, giving it that distinctly lifted look that everyone is familiar with on Prius’s now.
Bolstered Fuel Efficiency
While this post wasn’t originally meant to talk about much more than the look improvements to the 2016 Prius, it’s hard to go through a full post without at least mentioning how much more efficient this car is supposed to be. Toyota execs say that the car is supposed to be at least 10 percent more efficient than the outgoing Prius model. The old version managed 50 MPG combined, so it’s safe to say that we should expect somewhere around 55 MPG combined in the 2016 model. To achieve the efficiency improvements Toyota relied on a new engine with a higher thermal efficiency than the other model. Toyota also refined some of the electrical components around the vehicle to not only make it more affordable but more efficient.
If you’re into what Toyota did with the Mirai as far as looks is concerned, you’re sure to enjoy the 2016 Prius more than its predecessors. It certainly has a new edginess about it that it didn’t in the past, but it still has that unique styling that sets it apart from other vehicles. You won’t mistake the Prius for the Camry, or any other vehicle that Toyota has rolling around in its fleet, and that’s a good thing for the car.
Next year’s Toyota Prius is going to be adding in some new technology that was developed and perfected out on the endurance track. This technology doesn’t rely on any mechanical parts but instead a series of microchips and microcontrollers instead. Toyota was not willing to name any specific parts that they would be using in their vehicles, they would only say that the main goal of the new technology is to improve fuel efficiency.
A Major Efficiency Boost
The technology was used on the Toyota TS040 and it was able to boost fuel efficiency by 25 percent over the TS030. This is a major increase that would dramatically boost the efficiency figures for the Prius. While it is hard to say whether or not the new technology would enhance the Prius by such a large efficiency figure, it is safe to say that the car will become more efficient overall.
On top of improving its efficiency figures the new microchips and microcontrollers were also able to boost the power of the TS040. It went from 750HP in the TS030, to 1000HP in the TS040. This too is a dramatic increase that could be seen in the Prius as well. While the Prius wouldn’t be likely to see such a significant power boost, it could still increase by a decent amount that would make it even more enjoyable to drive.
Many critics have complained that the Prius simply doesn’t have enough power available to it, and maybe this technology would give the vehicle the added power it needs to quiet those critics once and for all.
On top of possibly getting more power the Prius may also receive four wheel drive similar to what the racecar uses. This would enhance traction of the vehicle making it more capable while being driven in poor weather conditions.
Enhanced Semiconductor Technology
On top of those enhancements coming from the racing world, Toyota has made some advancements to semiconductors that they use in their hybrid vehicles as well. They have come up with a much more efficient semiconductor that can enhance hybrid fuel efficiency by as much as 10 percent. The technology works by allowing power to flow more easily through the control unit that integrates the vehicles battery, motor and generator together. By improving the efficiency of the flow the technology saves energy and improves efficiency levels. Unlike the microcontroller technology this enhancement won’t be on the next generation of the Prius. Toyota doesn’t expect to release this technology until 2020, but it’s clear that they are constantly developing new ways to improve fuel efficiency in their vehicles, and working to stay at the front of the hybrid industry.
The next Toyota Prius should be significantly enhanced thanks to this new technology. Not only will it be more efficient but it might be more powerful as well. If the enhancements are large enough there may be a whole new group of buyers lining up to pick up the Prius that will suddenly make sense to own.