News Flash: New Prius is Even Cooler

by Benjamin Jones on January 23, 2009

2010 Toyota Prius

What did you expect? A bland update on the most exciting car from the biggest car company in the world? I think not! Toyota unleashed the first Prius on Japan in 1996 and in the last 13 years it has continued to get even cooler.

The 2010 model was officially released recently at the Detroit Auto Show, and it was one of the show stoppers among the very many fuel efficient and electric cars unveiled or hinted at during the show. The Prius’s new claim to fame includes and improvement in both power and fuel economy (22% and 9% respectively). It would’ve been nice to see 22% better fuel economy with minimal improvements to power, but that’s not really how it works anyway.

Toyota achieved that increase by upping the displacement on the gasoline motor from 1.5 liters to 1.8 liters, but that certainly isn’t the extent of the neat features on the upcoming Prius. On top of roof will be a solar panel that keeps a ventilator running so the cabin doesn’t get hot and stuffy in the summer, taxing the A/C system. Under the hood will be power everything, and I’m not talking about door locks and windows.

2010 Toyota Prius

Toyota has made a big step with this car in terms of efficient design by using electric A/C, power steering, and even an electric water pump. This all cuts down on parasitic drag on the engine and incrementally bumps up fuel economy. This in combination with a fantastic Cd of 0.25 allowed the Prius to bump up its EPA rating to 50 mpg all around, making it the most efficient thing on the market.

It will be interesting to see how the new Prius compares to the up and coming Honda Insight, which has lower MPG numbers but that Honda hopes will reach a new market of buyers that aren’t ready to spend more than $20,000 to save money on fuel. I’m not sure which I prefer just yet, but I’m hoping to give both a test drive and see for myself.

Source: Wired

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