Although the 2010 Prius was first leaked to the public in mid-October, Toyota today took the time to officially unveil its third-generation hybrid today at the Detroit Auto Show. The 2010 Prius builds upon the solid foundation of the first two generations and brings some new ammunition to the hybrid part this time around the block.
As previously reported on DailyTech, the new Prius uses a larger 1.8-liter gasoline engine which is paired with a significantly improved Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) -- Toyota says that the HSD is 90 percent new, torque losses are 20 percent less, and the hybrid components are now 20 percent lighter. The gasoline engine now pumps out 90 HP and 105 lb-ft of torque. The electric motor now is rated at 80 HP with 153 lb-ft of torque -- total combined power is 134 HP.
The increase in power hasn't done much for performance, however. Toyota quotes that 0-60 is achieved in 9.8 seconds. While this is an improvement over the previous model by more than a second, it's still not exactly what most people would call "fast" by any means.
The 2010 Prius is instantly recognizable as the most iconic hybrid on the planet and shares much stylistically with the second generation model. Toyota refined the shape to make it cut through the air -- in fact; the new model's coefficient of drag (Cd) is now 0.25 instead of 0.26 for the previous model.
When it comes to technology, the Prius again doesn't disappoint. The vehicle will be available with a moonroof package that incorporates solar panels to power a ventilation system. The vehicle will also be available with remote air conditioning which runs on battery power.
Other available options will include LED lighting front and rear, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Intelligent Parking Assist, and a backup monitor.
When it comes to the one aspect of the Prius that everyone wants to know about, fuel economy, Toyota just gives one statistic: 50 MPG combined (city/highway). That figure is based on Toyota's own internal testing and doesn't reflect the final numbers which will come down from the Environmental Protection Agency (EP).
Pricing also wasn't announced; however, expect Toyota to hold the line to compete with the sub-$20,000 Honda Insight.
quote: Are you going to sit there and tell me that you regularly NEED more than even 100 HP to drive.
quote: Name a current U.S. production car that gets close to 50 MPG combined without hybrid technology.
quote: If Toyota had put in a high-tech gasoline engine coupled with a high tech hybrid system, everyone would be complaining b/c it cost $28,000 base.
quote: The increase in power hasn't done much for performance, however. Toyota quotes that 0-60 is achieved in 9.8 seconds. While this is an improvement over the previous model by more than a second, it's still not exactly what most people would call "fast" by any means.
quote: Poor ppl still buy cars
quote: I thought U.S. is one of the most innovative country and yet when it comes to their car they're still relies on gas guzzler technology.
quote: They tend to design vehicles by slapping something together without in depth research of efficiency and reliability. For example, all US made 4x4 trucks exhaust smell really bad even when new, but the Japanese 4x4 trucks are not that way.
quote: If you like it, buy it, but I wouldn't touch something this ugly.
quote: I find it funny that people dislike aerodynamically shaped cars
quote: Yes. It's a good thing gas prices have dropped! Now I don't have to worry that about it ever going back up! Ever!
quote: That's not the point. people going out to buy a car today will take current prices into account. Not many people think years into the future.
quote: Add to that the millions of computers (and energy sucking LCDs) used to by end users
quote: It's more expensive and its gets worse fuel economy than the Prius -- and it's smaller on the inside and has less cargo capacity. Yeah, that's some serious "win" right there.
quote: I find it quite laughable that those who care about fuel consumption and efficiency even care about looks. If you care about how the car looks then fuel economy is probably not even a distant third in what you are really looking for in a car.
quote: A smooth curve of the Prius is just voluptuous. It gives a large room for the rear passenger and cargo too.
quote: You got any facts to back up that conjecture that people have stopped buying econoboxes.
quote: It is about MPG, low emission, interior room, and acceleration. It all comes down to efficiency because you can slice it up to any of the category.