Toyota Unveils New Prius, Betting Hybrids Will Stick Round

Toyota Motor Corp. took the wraps off the newest iteration of the Prius, the hybrid automobile that that paved the way in which for electrical automobiles greater than twenty years in the past.

Toyota Motor Corp. took the wraps off the newest iteration of the Prius, the hybrid automobile that that paved the way in which for electrical automobiles greater than twenty years in the past.

The fifth technology of the automobile, with larger wheels and a sportier design, gives three completely different hybrid powertrain choices and can go on sale beginning this winter, the carmaker mentioned at an occasion in Tokyo on Wednesday. Pricing for the brand new mannequin wasn’t disclosed, though Toyota careworn it could be “reasonably priced for everyone.”

The world’s No. 1 automaker pioneered mass-market hybrid automobiles with the debut of the Prius in 1997, and contends that the know-how nonetheless has a protracted solution to go. It is a guess on the longevity of the model and know-how at a time when Tesla Inc. and different upstarts have seized the narrative to say that the period of electrical automobiles has already arrived, regardless that they nonetheless solely make up about 6% of complete international automobile gross sales.

“It is a automobile to be pushed by all folks, not simply the few,” Simon Humphries, Toyota’s senior normal supervisor of design, mentioned on the unveiling. “That is its best power and cause for its existence, and it is the rationale why the Prius model shouldn’t be misplaced.”

The brand new Prius may have a 1.8-liter and a couple of.0-liter engine hybrid powertrain choices, which mixes a combustion engine, electrical motor and battery to ship higher gas economic system and acceleration. There’s additionally a 2.0-liter plug-in hybrid system that enhances energy and vary. 

A decrease chassis, swept physique and shark-like nostril, along with black exterior accents and darkish inside tones, are all geared toward giving the Prius an edgier look, a departure from the wedge-shaped and gray interiors seen in prior fashions. 

Toyota primarily centered on two areas for the brand new Prius, in accordance with Satoki Oya, a deputy chief engineer at Toyota who labored on the Prius. One is the design and the opposite is drivability, he mentioned. 

“That is meant to showcase Toyota’s most superior know-how,” mentioned Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Tatsuo Yoshida. 

Toyota has offered 4.75 million Priuses up to now, whereas Tesla solely simply handed the three million mark for cumulative manufacturing of all its automobiles. After peaking in 2010, when greater than 500,000 items had been offered worldwide, there’s been a gradual slide, with prospects shopping for virtually 86,000 Priuses final yr. 

Despite the fact that Prius gross sales have tapered off, hybrid know-how is now unfold throughout Toyota’s product line, together with the Lexus model. Different Toyota hybrids, such because the RAV4, do much more quantity.

“The rationale why Prius gross sales have declined is not as a result of hybrids aren’t promoting properly,” Yoshida mentioned. “It is as a result of there are different hybrid choices, so it’s not needed to purchase a Prius.”

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