Toyota promises better mileage and ride with Prius hybrid

posted on October 13, 2015

Toyota Motor Corp. released details for its fourth-generation Prius on Oct. 13, promising that improvements in the battery, engine, wind resistance and weight mean better mileage for the world's top-selling hybrid car.

It gets up to 40 kilometers a liter under Japanese tests, which translates to more than 93 miles per gallon, a 20 percent improvement from the 2015 model. In the United States, it gets 55 mpg in combined city and highway driving, about 10 percent better.

The Prius, which debuted in 1997, goes on sale in Japan in December, and rolls out in the United States and other markets early next year. A price was not announced, but it's expected to stay in the same range. The Prius now starts at about $24,000 in the U.S. and 2.4 million yen ($20,000) in Japan.

A hybrid switches back and forth between a gasoline engine and an electric motor to deliver a super-efficient drive, but is increasingly being challenged by even more futuristic technologies, such as the purely electric car and the fuel cell, which are both zero emissions.

Toyota officials said the efficiency of the Prius engine was beefed up 40 percent with reduced friction and improved combustion, while newly developed batteries are 10 percent smaller yet have 28 percent better performance. The battery, which had been in the back luggage area, now fits under the back seat, meaning more luggage space.

source by newsonjapan
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