Next-gen Toyota Prius aiming for 55 mpg, could arrive in 2015

Filed under: Hybrid, MPG, Toyota

toyota prius family

Twenty years ago, a small group of engineers at Toyota were tasked with the G21 project, a look into the “Global 21st Century” and how Toyota could make vehicles that used less fuel and emit less CO2. You might be able to guess that the result of that project was the Prius, which became an icon and is today the world’s most popular hybrid (in Japan and California, it’s the most popular car, period).

Speaking at the Toyota Hybrid World Tour, a rock ‘n roll-themed media event in Ypsilanti, MI today, one of those engineers, Satoshi Ogiso, who is now Toyota Motor Corporation’s managing officer, gave some hints on the next-gen Prius. The headline number: roughly 55 miles per gallon thanks to a new platform – the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) – and a more thermal efficient engine. The TNGA will provide a lower center of gravity as well as improved ride and handling, Ogiso said, and the new Prius motor will be more power dense as well.

The 55-mpg number is a big deal, but it is in line with the improvements in the model’s history. The first-gen Prius got 41 mpg, the second-gen got 46 and the third got 50. So, there was around a 10-percent improvement each time. “To beat your own record becomes very difficult,” Ogiso said, adding that it becomes all the more rewarding when you manage to reach your goal. The big question, of course, is when this next-gen Prius is due? “It’s a sensitive question,” Ogiso said, but then gave a big hint that 2015 is likely. Once again, he pointed to history. After all, the first-gen was 1997, second-gen was 2003 and third-gen was 2009. It’s always been six years between models he said, laughing.

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Next-gen Toyota Prius aiming for 55 mpg, could arrive in 2015 originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 15:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: Is Chevy working on a Prius V, C-Max fighter?

Filed under: Spy Photos, Hybrid, Minivan/Van, Crossover, Chevrolet, GM

Chevy Orlando hybrid test mule - front three-quarter view, disguised spy shot

Chevy Orlando hybrid mule - paperwork closeup - spy shotChevrolet is testing a very peculiar MPV, one that isn’t sold in the US but is wearing Michigan plates. On top of that, riveted bodywork aside, it sure looks suspicious with a bunch of Chevy Volts and a Ford Fusion Hybrid buzzing around it like flies. Upon closer inspection, our spy photographers say it’s actually a test mule for a yet unannounced hybrid vehicle from General Motors, which will probably end up competing with the Ford C-Max Hybrid and Toyota Prius V.

After the swarm of GM engineers finally left the car alone, our photographers were able to move in and snap some shots up close. What they found was a heavily modified Chevrolet Orlando (which is sold in North America, but not the US) with tons of gas-electric hybrid components and testing gear scattered about the interior. The cargo area, for one, is stuffed with a battery and rudimentary cooling system comprised of tubes, and the battery’s casing has a “High-Voltage” warning sticker affixed to it. No plug-in port is visible, leading us to suspect it’s a straight-up hybrid. Our spy photographers were wondering if it was the Volt MPV5 concept testbed, which debuted at the Beijing Auto Show in 2010, but they have heard the MPV5 was cancelled to divert resources to the Cadillac ELR. No Voltec powertrain is suspected in this Orlando mule.

One of the telltale signs of a test mule for a new model – and not a new variant of an existing model – is body modification. From the riveted front end with Chevy Spark headlights to the lengthened cargo area, it’s clear from the outside that major modifications have been done to the Orlando’s body. After analyzing the pieced-together door panels, our spy photographers also believe the front doors were lengthened and the rear doors were shortened.

These Orlandos have been seen testing since early this year, buy they’ve been shrouded in mystery until now. They’re still quite mysterious (is GM trying to fool us by testing them alongside a Fusion Hybrid instead of a C-Max Hybrid?), but the hybrid battery found in the cargo bay is our biggest clue yet.

Is Chevy working on a Prius V, C-Max fighter? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 26 Jul 2013 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Toyota Prius owners targeted by tire-slashing VA vandal

Filed under: Hybrid, Videos, Toyota

News report on Prius tire slasher in Arlington, VA - video screencap

Toyota Prius owners aren’t bad folks. With a few exceptions, they’re just normal people who appreciate the comfortable, high-mileage hybrid. Someone in Arlington, Virginia doesn’t see it that way, though, as 14 examples (and one Smart) had at least one tire slashed last Sunday night.

The serial tire-slasher didn’t swipe any items from the vehicles, but he or she has left owners with substantial bills and sour dispositions. According to a report from ABC affiliate WJLA, some citizens are considering the matter a hate crime.

Despite the targeting of Toyota hybrids and the acquisition of one fingerprint, police have been unable to make any arrests, as the slasher has targeted vehicles across the county. Take a look at the local news report from WJLA below.

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Toyota Prius owners targeted by tire-slashing VA vandal originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Jul 2013 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First Drive: 2012 Toyota Prius V

Filed under: Hybrid, Wagon, Technology, Crossover, Toyota, First Drive

Toyota Masters The Art Of The Conjunctive

2012 Toyota Prius V

2012 Toyota Prius V – Click above for high-res image gallery

The hybrid lexicon is a language built on a foundation of disjunction. Buyers may have phenomenal fuel economy or space for kids and cargo. You can embarrass your neighbors at the fuel pump or have a satisfying driving experience. In fact, opting for a battery pack is so fraught with compromise that it’s almost as if hybrid manufacturers have completely deleted the conjunctive ‘and’ from their diction. Even so, that fact hasn’t stopped buyers from seeking out electrified vehicles in increasing numbers.

Toyota has sold over one million Prius models in the United States since the vehicle first debuted a decade ago. That number blossoms to two million if global sales are accounted for, and the model’s popularity has helped usher in a bloom of hybrid products from over 16 manufacturers. The technology may not be the perfect solution to our fuel economy concerns, but the Prius has taken off in ways that would have been difficult to imagine when the first gangly example whirred off the line.

Now Toyota is set to grow its Prius lineup with three new models. In fact, Bob Carter, Toyota division group vice president and general manager, says that the Japanese automaker fully expects the Prius family to become its best-selling product line in the near future – beating out internal combustion titans like the Camry and Corolla in the process. As a result, the company is planning to unleash of a barrage of products that include a model based on the Prius C Concept, a plug-in version of the hybrid and the taller, boxier Prius V. The thought is that a few simple variations on the company’s successful battery-powered recipe will offer buyers solutions that the conventional Prius simply couldn’t match. The only question is whether or not the will respond to what is effectively a few clever re-body jobs. If the Prius V is any indication, the answer is a resounding yes.

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2012 Toyota Prius V originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 23 May 2011 11:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: 7th-generation Camry coming this fall, Prius expected to take top sales spot

Filed under: Sedan, Toyota

2011 toyota camry

2010 Toyota Camry – Click above for high-res image gallery

The current Toyota Camry has been carrying the mid-size sedan torch since 2006, so it’s high time for a remake. According to WardsAuto.com, Toyota is busily prepping the next-generation car, and it could be here by the fall.

The Japanese automaker has been seeing increased pressure from the latest offerings coming out of Korea and the United States, and now it’s time to update its own high-volume money maker. While Toyota sold 327,084 Camrys in 2010 – still at the very front of the midsize family sedan class – that figure represents the lowest sales total for the vehicle since 1994.

Somewhat interestingly, though, Toyota apparently sees the Prius hybrid range taking over for the Camry as Toyota’s best-selling model. Time, as they say, will tell.

7th-generation Camry coming this fall, Prius expected to take top sales spot originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 20 May 2011 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toyota offers free badge of honor to Prius owners

Filed under: Car Buying, Hybrid, Marketing/Advertising, Hatchback, Toyota

Toyota Prius badge

To commemorate the epic milestone of one million Prius hybrids sold in the United States, Toyota is literally giving away “Prius Goes Platinum” badges to more than 11,000 current Prius owners.

If you own a Prius, don’t delay. Starting today, only the first 1,000 Prius owners who sign up at ToyotaPriusProjects.com will get their hands on a free custom-molded, adhesive-backed vehicle badge. The next 10,000 takers get their badges in sticker form, while everyone else gets their badges digitally. The auto-generated badge reflects, in an artistic sort of way, the CO2 emissions saved by each individual Prius.

Attention Prius owners: Click here to claim your one-of-a-kind “Prius Goes Platinum” badge.

Toyota offers free badge of honor to Prius owners originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 18 May 2011 18:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2012 Toyota Prius V still on track for U.S. launch this fall

Filed under: Hybrid, Japan, Plants/Manufacturing, Technology, Crossover, Toyota

Toyota Prius V

2012 Toyota Prius V – Click above for high-res image gallery

False alarm, Prius fans. According to Toyota, the Prius V MPV is on track to hit the market as scheduled. Reports recently began circulating indicating that the Japanese automaker was delaying the vehicle’s launch due to the lingering impact of this year’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters. Word was that a battery shortfall was causing the hold-up, though the manufacturer has now confirmed that the large hybrid will debut this fall as originally scheduled.

Unfortunately, the arrival of the Japanese-market Prius Alpha is still slated to experience a delay of indeterminate length. Hit the jump for the brief press release.

Continue reading 2012 Toyota Prius V still on track for U.S. launch this fall

2012 Toyota Prius V still on track for U.S. launch this fall originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 13 May 2011 19:53:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Quake fallout may delay Toyota Prius V sales by up to a year

Filed under: Hybrid, Minivan/Van, Japan, Hatchback, Toyota

prius v wagon

2012 Toyota Prius V – Click above for the high-res image gallery

In March, we heard that, because of production delays as a result of the March 11 earthquake in Japan, Toyota was looking at delays for the new Prius V and Prius + models set to go on sale in North America and Europe, respectively. The Detroit News is reporting that those delays could last as long as a year for some buyers due to battery pack shortages.

Despite the production problems, Toyota still launched the the larger Prius variant in Tokyo. But the lack of batteries means that the automaker can only build 1,000 of the three-row models with the lithium ion battery pack per month, and another 2,000 models with the nickel-metal hydride battery pack. That doesn’t quite jive with the automaker’s 18,000 orders for the nickel-metal hydride-equipped five-seater or the 7,000 orders for the pricier three-row model. And that’s just the orders for the up-sized Prius in Japan. The automaker intends to sell about 2,000 units per month each in North America and Europe as well.

In the big picture, Toyota has at least launched the new Prius, and new models should begin trickling in over the next few months. The Prius + won’t be offered in Europe until mid-2012, and it won’t be available in the U.S. at all.

Quake fallout may delay Toyota Prius V sales by up to a year originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 13 May 2011 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Autoblog checks out Toyota Entune inside the 2012 Prius V

Filed under: Hybrid, Technology, Videos, Toyota

Toyota Entune

Toyota Entune inside the 2012 Prius V – Click above to watch the video after the jump

Toyota will be launching its new Entune infotainment system later this year – a product that pairs with a customer’s Internet- and Bluetooth-equipped smartphone to bring a host of applications right into the car’s navigation screen. Entune is the Japanese automaker’s answer to Ford’s SYNC system, and we recently had the chance to get a first-hand look at Toyota’s latest creation inside of the upcoming 2012 Prius V.

Entune made its official debut at CES back in January, combining functional apps like Bing search and real-time XM information (traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports and stocks) with entertainment features like Pandora and iHeartRadio. What’s more, Entune adds restaurant booking capability via OpenTable and allows you to research movie times through MovieTickets.com. Of course, there’s a slate of safety features like collision notification and roadside assistance, similar to those found in Lexus’ Enform system.

We sat down inside the 2012 Prius V with Toyota’s corporate manager for advanced technology, Jim Pisz, to see exactly how Entune works. Pisz tells us that the Prius V will be the first Toyota vehicle to feature Entune, but that we will likely see it spread to higher-volume models like the Camry and Tacoma by the end of the year.

In all, Entune looks to be a pretty slick system. The touch-screen display is easy to navigate, though it isn’t as visually appealing as the Blue Oval’s MyFord Touch. See a full walk-through of Entune for yourself in the video after the jump. As an added bonus, click here to see an Entune hands-on from our friends at Engadget, as well.

Editor’s Note: Because Entune pairs to a smartphone, if there’s a lengthy loss of signal at any time, that will cause Entune to become temporarily unresponsive. This happened during our preview outside of New York’s Plaza Hotel, and thus, the video begins after Pisz restarted the system.

Gallery: Toyota Entune

[Lead image: Steven J. Ewing/AOL]

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Autoblog checks out Toyota Entune inside the 2012 Prius V originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Apr 2011 12:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Autoblog Podcast #225: Best interiors, Subaru XV, Jaguar SUV, a million Prius sales

Filed under: Podcasts, Ford, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Subaru, Volvo, Shanghai Motor Show

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Autoblog Podcast #225 features Chris Shunk, Zach Bowman, Chris Paukert and Dan Roth. We start with Ward’s Auto‘s ten best interiors for 2011, speculate about the Subaru XV concept and a Jaguar SUV before contemplating what one million U.S. Prius sales means. Your feedback in our Q&A module winds us up, and we’ve embedded that in the post below, as well. Thanks for listening, we’ll see you next week!

Autoblog Podcast #225: Best interiors, Subaru XV, Jaguar SUV, a million Prius sales

  • Ward’s picks the best interiors
  • Subaru XV
  • Jaguar SUV rumor
  • One million US Prius sales

In the Autoblog Garage:

  • 2011 Nissan Juke SV AWD
  • 2011 Volvo S60 T6
  • 2011 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG
  • 2011 Ford F-150 Harley Davidson


Hosts: Dan Roth, Chris Shunk, Zach Bowman, Chris Paukert
  • Runtime: 01:20:38


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Autoblog Podcast #225: Best interiors, Subaru XV, Jaguar SUV, a million Prius sales originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Apr 2011 17:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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