Filed under: Hybrid, MPG, Toyota
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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