Better economy, bigger boot for new Toyota Prius
Toyota is claiming its new fourth-generation Prius hybrid will offer an 18% improvement in fuel and emissions performance. European homologated emissions and fuel consumption data will be announced closer to the UK launch early in the new year.
The all-new car, which is formally unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month, features a smaller and lighter full hybrid system - including the electric motor, transaxle, power control unit and hybrid battery.
Prius has proved immensely popular in the private hire sector, and the current controversy over diesel emissions is likely to make the petrol-electric hybrid even more attractive to operators.
The new car uses Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) chassis, which gives the car a lower centre of gravity for more rewarding handling.
The new Prius retains the established 1.8-litre VVT-i petrol engine featured in the current model, but changes to the unit have taken its already high level of thermal efficiency to a world-leading 40%, a figure comparable to a diesel engine.
The transaxle and motor have been redesigned, delivering a reduction in their combined weight. The motor itself is considerably more compact and gains a better power-to-weight ratio. Notably there is about a 20% reduction in mechanical losses through friction compared to the previous model.
The new Prius features a new nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) hybrid battery. The battery has been relocated beneath the rear seat, freeing up more luggage space. Boot volume has increased to 502 litres in the new Prius. The auxiliary batteries have been moved from the boot to the engine compartment.