Prius: A New Era of Automotive Technology
In 1997 Toyota introduced—the Prius—offering much better fuel economy than any other vehicle powered by a gasoline engine.
The world has heavily praised Prius, which is more advanced than anyone could have imagined. Here in the Middle East, the introduction of the Prius has changed perceptions about environmentally friendly vehicles while adding a new look to the city streets.
The Prius was the world’s first mass-produced hybrid, appearing on the market in Japan in 1997 and sold globally in 2000. The Prius has constantly evolved to meet every challenge and stay at the forefront of hybrid technology. The history of the Prius since its debut in 1997 is a fascinating one and showcases the enormous strides taken in developing an iconic vehicle for our times. The fourth generation Prius is a truly exciting development in the series. Prius surprised the world. The idea of the Prius has caught on since then.
A History of Innovation and Progress
The first generation Prius stunned the automotive world. But that was just the start with more exciting developments on the horizon.
The second generation Prius arrived in 2003. It was completely redesigned to be larger, with improved aerodynamics and even better fuel economy.
The third generation in 2009 built on previous achievements in every aspect, taking advantage of continuous research and world-class technology.
When the fourth generation Prius was unveiled in September of 2015, it not only offered significantly improved fuel economy in a more compact package and attractive design, but it was lighter, roomier and performed even better than previous models.
Toyota Hybrid System Offers Stunning Performance
The Toyota Hybrid System combines a gasoline engine and electric motor to create an unparalleled environmental performance as well as an impressive driving experience.
The new Prius is about far more than the exceptional fuel efficiency that comes with hybrid technology. The ample torque also delivers exhilarating acceleration that belies the engine’s 1.8-litre displacement. Without a doubt, the Prius represents the pinnacle of hybrid technology and a showcase for new, relevant technologies from Toyota that raise levels of driving performance, convenience and comfort.
TNGA = Fun to Drive
The new Prius is the first vehicle developed using Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), which aims at modularizing in addition to integrating development and manufacturing, allowing more time for design.
Using this system, the skeletal structure of the Prius was improved with an increase in torsional rigidity of more than 60 percent compared to previous models, maximizing the performance of the suspension for better control and a quieter, more stable ride. TNGA offers not only improved handling, but also enhanced overall driving performance and fuel economy—not to mention more attractive styling.
TNGA sounds pretty technical. To really understand it, you have to drive a new Prius. Get behind the wheel, step on the accelerator—and you will be surprised. You get an instant response—swift and seamless acceleration with the electric motor shifting automatically to the gasoline engine at a certain speed. It’s smooth, quiet and powerful. TNGA puts the fun back into driving in a way you never imagined was possible.
Power of Unique and Advanced Technology
Fuel consumption is not just relative to how fast your wheels turn. When you start or accelerate, for example, you use more gasoline to overcome inertia. That is why city driving with the stop-start of heavy traffic, traffic lights and stop signs can consume so much fuel. With the Prius, you are mostly using the electric motor in the city. Driving is smooth and effortless. But you get maximum torque when you need it because torque is not dependent on engine revolutions. That is why elevators and electric trains start so smoothly.
Since you can draw on both power sources at the same time, you also get excellent acceleration. At low speeds, the electric motor powers the vehicle. When the Prius accelerates, both the electric motor and the gasoline engine drive the wheels.
Add to this “regenerative braking”. The electric motor assists with braking, saving wear and tear on the regular brakes. It is used to absorb energy in deceleration and also to drive the generator used for charging the battery.
The Prius has always been at the forefront of automotive evolution. Even its name, “Prius” is derived from “prior” in Latin—which means “coming before”. The Prius is always the first, in every way.
The fourth generation Prius is a world beater—the culmination of almost two decades of experience and development. To paraphrase Chief Engineer Toyoshima: “It was relatively easy for Usain Bolt to run a hundred meters in 10 seconds—it was quite another thing for him to break the world record with a 9.58 second dash. Coming first requires huge effort. But if you keep on working at it, you can achieve it. That’s our philosophy in developing the Prius, “Ever better.”
Milestones and Awards: Inception of a New Culture
Helping to mitigate the environmental effects of automobiles is a priority for Toyota. Based on the stance that eco-friendly vehicles can only truly have a significant positive impact if they are widely used, Toyota has endeavored to encourage the mass-market adoption of hybrid vehicles across the globe. As of the end of April 2016, Toyota is selling 33 hybrid passenger car models and one plug-in hybrid (PHV) model in more than 90 countries and regions.
In 2008, there were a million new Priuses on the road. By 2013, it was three million, indicating that the new eco-technology had gone mainstream and was no longer just something for a few environmentally conscious progressives—but rather the best choice for just about everyone.
Hybrids are clearly becoming more and more popular. By April of 2016, cumulative figures for global sales of its hybrid vehicles reached 9.014 million units —which meant about 65 million tons less CO2 in the atmosphere. Whether it is North America, Europe and Asia, a new lifestyle is evolving globally and more people are signing on to buy the Prius hybrid.
Complementing the exceptional growth in sales, the Toyota Prius 2010 has previously earned ‘Top Three in the World’ status for both the World Green Car and the overall World Car of the Year categories.
Prius is the Future
The challenges to the Prius were many—but overcome with Toyota’s famously relentless Kaizen development process. The result is a vehicle that not only provides great fuel economy, but is also fun to drive. It gets your pulse racing. Drive the new Prius and you will feel the difference. This is the cutting edge. A better way to the future.