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  (Source: Autoblog)
Toyota's third generation Prius gets nekkid.

With all the talk of the new Insight from Honda along with the Chevrolet Volt, many people have forgotten about the Toyota Prius. The Prius is the choice of both environmentalists and the Hollywood elite -- it also is the butt of many jokes with regards to its looks and its "green" image.

The third generation Prius wasn't to be unveiled until the Detroit Auto Show in January, but Autoblog grabbed three pictures which are reported to be the Toyota's next generation hybrid vehicle. The three pictures show the vehicle's front 3/4 view, a close up of the front fog lights and lower air dam, and a shot of the interior.

The production exterior and interior shots match up with spy shots of the next generation Prius that made the rounds online a few months ago.

With regards to the exterior, it probably wouldn't be mistaken for anything else but a Prius. The design is sleeker and takes styling cues from a number of Toyota's current cars including the Yaris and Camry.

Toyota has big plans for the new Prius. It will be larger and more fuel efficient than its predecessor. According to reports, the Prius will use a 1.8-liter gasoline engine developing at least 100HP (up from 75HP). When used in conjunction with the electric motor, combined power will rise to 160HP. Toyota also has plans to incorporate solar panels into the roofs of range-topping Prius models to aid in recharging the battery pack.

What remains to be seen, however, is if Toyota will be able to match the sub-$19,000 price tag projected for Honda's next generation Insight.

Updated 10/16/2008
Edmunds Inside Line confirms that the pictures above of the next generation Prius are indeed legit. According to a Toyota spokesman, the pictures were "leaked accidentally

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By Hypernova on 10/16/2008 1:26:16 AM , Rating: 3
How much does the solar panels actually help? Is there any figures like "1hr charge gets you 1Km" to go by?

RE: Solar
By Jedi2155 on 10/16/2008 1:54:24 AM , Rating: 1
I'd happen to guess the panel on such of roof would probably no more than 80-100 watts so you might get around 400-600 watts for a sunny day. That would roughly be about 2 free miles a day for a $2000 extra. Not very useful in my opinion especially since manufacturing solar has a significant environmental/energy cost more so than hybrids in my opinion.

And since the vehicle might be parked in a structure or a garage, you won't get benefits from the sun when its there. So it would be better if you just bought the panels for your home and recharge the batteries from the plug.

RE: Solar
By AnnihilatorX on 10/16/2008 6:50:58 AM , Rating: 3
I don't understand your calculation.

Watts is a measure of power, i.e. energy per second.
400-600 Watts a day is contradicting and confusing.

Do you mean 600 Joules a day? 600 Watt-hours a day, i.e. 0.6 kWh (Kilo Watt hours)

If you do mean Watts as in Joules per second, A sunny daylight of 5 hours would give say 400*5 = 2000 Watt-hours, i.e. 2kWh

RE: Solar
By AnnihilatorX on 10/16/2008 6:53:57 AM , Rating: 2
Just to add
2kWh is enough to power a 1kW appliance for 2 hours.
E.g., a 60W light bulb will power for 3.3 hours with 2kWh of energy

RE: Solar
By PlasmaBomb on 10/16/2008 8:13:09 AM , Rating: 3
Just to add...

The current Prius uses a 50kW electric motor, so 2kWh of "free solar energy" would equate to 2.4 minutes of full power electric motoring.

Great ;)

RE: Solar
By vapore0n on 10/16/2008 9:15:12 AM , Rating: 5
just to add

wait, nm

RE: Solar
By Souka on 10/16/2008 10:47:10 AM , Rating: 4
The article abotu solar panels on the Prius was posted several month ago... pretty much everone agreed it was too expensive to be practicle except in some rare cirmcumstances.

One of the noted benifits was that the AC could run longer on battery before the engine kicked in. Again, a minor benifit.

don't forget the solar setup adds additional complexity to the car, adds cost, and weight...

RE: Solar
By SandmanWN on 10/17/2008 12:28:31 AM , Rating: 1
FYI to everyone. The buzz going around is the pictures are of two different cars.

The first photo is a prius, the second and third are of a yet unknown car, most say its a yaris replacement. Just look at the headlights of the first photo compared to the second photo. The first has a two tip design at the top and the second is flat. The second photo also shows the A pilar starting just inches behind the headlights, which means its probably a sub-compact. The third photo shows a compact interior that most likely belongs to the second car.

This seems to be the general consensus in just about every forum post that these pictures have shown up in today.

RE: Solar
By PlasmaBomb on 10/17/2008 9:53:54 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry in this article the first, second and third pictures are of the same car...

RE: Solar
By SandmanWN on 10/17/2008 10:23:20 AM , Rating: 1
sorry chief but they aren't. notice in the second photo the break in the body line at the headlight. it doesnt exist at all in the first photo. they are completely different cars. headlights are different. the length of the front end to windshield are different.

RE: Solar
By SandmanWN on 10/17/2008 10:28:00 AM , Rating: 1
im just saying there are differences. it could be the same car in different stages of prototype.

RE: Solar
By mikeyD95125 on 10/17/2008 2:13:22 PM , Rating: 2
Alright "chief" i'm sure it's the same damn car.

RE: Solar
By SandmanWN on 10/17/2008 3:08:23 PM , Rating: 1
oh really?

then why are they different?

why does one headlight come to a single point and the other come to two points?

why would they do that and have to redesign the hood and front fenders?

why is the A-pillar begin directly behind the headlight in the single point setup but appears to be several feet away in the two point headlight setup?

what makes you think you know more than these other enthusiasts discussing these discrepancies in auto blogs and other auto industry discussion forums?

RE: Solar
By SandmanWN on 10/17/2008 3:11:03 PM , Rating: 1
just thought i would let some of the DT readers in on what others in the industry are noting. apparently its kill the messenger day.

btw there are other photos other than the three shown here that speak more to what i am pointing out. ive seen a total of 5 different photos thus far.

RE: Solar
By howardluo on 10/17/2008 8:18:47 AM , Rating: 2
It may be enough to continuously power the radio....yay!

RE: Solar
By wordsworm on 10/17/2008 11:54:04 AM , Rating: 2
"don't forget the solar setup adds additional complexity to the car, adds cost, and weight..."

Since we don't know which solar technology they'll be using, it's hard to say. I sincerely doubt, though, that they'll be using a heavy solar panel. Maybe you haven't been keeping up with solar news for awhile - so maybe that's why you think that they're all heavy. That's not true at all. Between thin film and dye, I'm guessing they'd be putting the thin film on the roof. Now, if this film was capable of producing enough energy to power the air conditioner while in traffic, then it would allow the car to operate without using either engine. I'd love to compare the cost of operating a regular gas guzzler using AC in traffic for an hour vs. this new Prius when it comes out. I bet you dollars to donuts that the folks in the Prius will easily get back their investment.

Most of the costs in solar energy come from the alternator and battery. Heck, the car already has both of those things. So, the only added expense is a bit of wiring and the solar film itself.

I don't know why they're limiting the solar to just the roof. There's no reason why they can't tint the windows with solar, not to mention the hood and trunk. Could probably get a kilowatt or two per hour in the afternoon.

Anyways, would be nice to get the specs on the addition. Wouldn't be surprising to see all Priuses with one of these in a few years.

RE: Solar
By JoshuaBuss on 10/17/2008 2:11:35 PM , Rating: 2
again with the misusage of "watts per hour"...

you can't have a 'kilowatt per hour'. you could have a kilowatt-hour in an hour though, and that would equate to getting exactly 1 kilowatt of energy from the panel, but if that's what you meant you should really be more clear :)

RE: Solar
By Shadowmaster625 on 10/16/2008 11:12:11 AM , Rating: 2
The question is, how much power does the motor need to limp along at 22 mph?

RE: Solar
By Staples on 10/16/2008 9:47:44 AM , Rating: 5
That calculation seems to be incorrect.

2kWh is 2000 watt hours. Your calculation was off. Your 3.3 hours should be multipled by 10. So the 60W bulb can be powered for 33 hours.

RE: Solar
By lennylim on 10/16/2008 8:35:28 PM , Rating: 2
Just to add 2kWh is enough to power a 1kW appliance for 2 hours. E.g., a 60W light bulb will power for 3.3 hours with 2kWh of energy

If you're going to correct someone's math, it is generally considered good form to get your own correct as well. 60W light, 2kWH of energy = 33 hours of light, not 3.3 ;-)

RE: Solar
By Jedi2155 on 10/16/2008 4:16:51 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I should have been more clear with my math and units. I did indeed mean as in power as that is typically what you would use in this type of calculation and assumed that people would have picked it mistake.

As for the source of my calculation, I had meant the panels were probably capable of generating power at a rate of 80-100 watts/hour. At this rate, you would probably be able to gather about 600 watts of power over a whole day as the angle of incidence from the sun would greatly affect efficiency as well as a variety of other factors.

600 watt-hours would be 600 kilojoules per day if you want to use joules as a unit.

I have been working with some PV's at my job and have been less than impressed by their efficiency numbers which is why I said 600 watts rather than just something like 80 watt/hours * 10 hours of sunlight = 800 watts. I made some assumptions regarding actual usable output.

RE: Solar
By randomly on 10/16/2008 5:34:20 PM , Rating: 2
Your units are still wrong.

The panels would be 80-100 watt panels. Watt is a unit of power.

There is no such thing as Watts/hour (watts per hour).

There are watt-hours (watts times hours), and joules (watts times seconds) which are both units of energy. 600 watt-hours would be 2160 Kilojoules.

In a day you would probably get something like 600 watt-hours, which will get you about 2 miles on average.

RE: Solar
By 9nails on 10/16/2008 9:30:50 PM , Rating: 1
Akk the watt hours jules watt volt hours stuff is confusing, technical, and over the top.

I know what a light bulb is, and that 80 - 100 is about average for an incandescent light bulb. If the car can power that for 6 hours, it gives me a good enough estimate of what the solar panel can do. Which doesn't sound like much.

RE: Solar
By PlasmaBomb on 10/17/2008 9:58:46 AM , Rating: 2
Akk the watt hours jules watt volt hours stuff is confusing, technical, and over the top.

I think we all know the answer to the question in your case...

RE: Solar
By rcc on 10/16/2008 5:36:44 PM , Rating: 2
Watts is a measure of power, i.e. energy per second.

Just to clarify, a Watt is a measure of instantaneous power, with no time reference attached. So, 600 watts per day would equate to 600 Watt-days. It's only when we add a time frame that the measurement becomes time related.

So, something pulling 100 Watts is doing just that. If it pulls 100 Watts for an hour, you have consumed 100 Watt-hours.

Joule is actually a "timed" measurement. It is the equivalent of 1 Watt-second.

RE: Solar
By Jack Ripoff on 10/17/2008 7:50:02 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think so.

The Joule is a measure of energy and the Watt is a measure of power. Energy is not defined in terms of power, but power is defined in terms of energy. Actually, there is no definition of energy.

Power, on the other hand, is by definition the rate at which energy is transmitted.

RE: Solar
By rcc on 10/21/2008 3:30:26 PM , Rating: 2
You are allowed to not think so.

Or, you could do a modicum of research and sort it out correctly. Which is what I did to confirm my input before posting, since my formal education in electronics was many years ago. Fortunately while planets may change definitions, the Watt hasn't.

Watt (W)
Electric measurement of power at one point in time, as capacity or demand. For example, light bulbs are classified by wattage. (1000 watts = 1 kilowatt


3 seconds with Google will net you more info than you probably want. : )

RE: Solar
By Samus on 10/17/08, Rating: 0
RE: Solar
By Alexvrb on 10/17/2008 7:38:05 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure what you mean by saying that lead-acid battery cells "decay" at a rate of 1%/day, but they do self-discharge very slowly due to internal resistance. There is also a very small draw on them from the car, so while connected to a vehicle for long periods it can certainly discharge a bit faster. It's not that big a deal as long as you don't let it dip too low - unless its a deep cycle battery, in which case deep discharge is not really a problem.

Regardless, a solar panel seems like a waste of money to put on non-hybrids, when it will only really aid extra cars that sit unused all the time. You can mitigate the problem to a good extent just by disconnecting the battery in the unused vehicle, or eliminate it by charging the battery via an inexpensive charger or by running the vehicle once in a while.

Maybe they could make it an option on more vehicles, though. Rather than passing the cost on to everyone, since this is hardly a needed feature in a daily driver. As a trickle charger, it doesn't need to be very large.

RE: Solar
By Guttersnipe on 10/16/2008 2:04:58 AM , Rating: 3
probably just keeps any battery cooling fans from depleting the battery.
no significant charge is possible. batteries too small, and panels are too inefficient and few.

RE: Solar
By Jedi2155 on 10/16/2008 2:18:04 AM , Rating: 2
I wasn't aware the Prius pack required cooling fans but even then, I don't think fans use more than what the solar cells can generate.

Here's a link to an actual installation with actual numbers ->

RE: Solar
By Guttersnipe on 10/16/2008 3:00:00 AM , Rating: 2
the pack has cooling i'm pretty sure. its why the prius has a vent on the side.

RE: Solar
By Jedi2155 on 10/16/2008 4:31:40 PM , Rating: 2
What vent are you referring to? I just looked at the Prius outside right now, and I see no vents by the battery pack. No exposed ones at least.

RE: Solar
By Ammohunt on 10/16/2008 5:58:55 PM , Rating: 3
Toyota is not going to put panels on the roof that don't do anything folks. Perhaps its a solar water heater that drives an in car coffee maker. I would pay an extra $2000 for that!

RE: Solar
By Starcub on 10/17/2008 4:43:02 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps its a solar water heater that drives an in car coffee maker.


Much as I might like to see that, I'm pretty sure it would/should be illegal.

RE: Solar
By Solandri on 10/16/2008 5:27:34 AM , Rating: 2
A typical compact or subcompact car needs about 20 hp to maintain highway speeds. The most cost-effective solar panels are about 15% efficient, and generate about 110 Watts/m^2 under sunny noontime conditions. Figure the roof of a Prius is about 5x4 feet and you're right around 2 m^2, so around 220 Watts.

20 hp = 14,900 Watts. So the panels would provide about 1.5% of the total power required to operate at highway speeds.

If the car goes 60 mph for an hour, that's 14900 Watt-hours to travel 60 mile, or about 250 Watt-hours to travel 1 mile. Leaving you Prius parked for an hour at noon would provide 220 Watt-hours, or enough solar power to travel a little less than a mile at highway speed.

The Prius' city mileage is a bit better than highway, so around 1 mile for every hour of noontime charging is probably a good estimate.

RE: Solar
By Hypernova on 10/16/2008 6:01:32 AM , Rating: 3
That doesn't sound too bad. Had a lecture by NZ Green party VP and she said most car trips are under 2Km (to the local markets etc).

This means that if you park it outside you use no gas for those trips. Assuming decent solar pick ups.

RE: Solar
By masher2 on 10/16/2008 11:59:04 AM , Rating: 5
> "That doesn't sound too bad."

Those figures don't count the coulometric charge efficiency of NiMH batteries, which mean you lose about 30% off the top during charging. The battery pack on the Prius (current gen at least) only holds about 1.7 Kwh, and is typically charged only 60% to conserve life, and discharged only to 40% -- meaning you can only collect a maximum of about 350 watt-hours before you're overflowing your pack.

RE: Solar
By Jedi2155 on 10/16/2008 4:19:31 PM , Rating: 2
I don't understand why anyone would down rate you for this, as that is a very important detail most people forget about when dealing with batteries.

Deep discharge greatly increases the wear and tear on a battery.

RE: Solar
By Fnoob on 10/16/2008 8:57:40 PM , Rating: 2
"Deep discharge greatly increases the wear and tear on a battery."

Is this correct? My daughters' Barbie electric jeep owner's manual states that it is best to fully discharge the battery before recharging (for 18 hours...) Surely they aren't providing misinformation that would force me to purchase new $50 batteries more often, would they?

What? It is an electric car! Based on the number of laps around the yard between recharges, I'd say she gets at least 30 miles per charge.

RE: Solar
By Jedi2155 on 10/16/2008 9:12:18 PM , Rating: 3
Again, to be more correct, it depends on the type of chemistry of the battery. For a NiMH chemistry used on the Prius, Lead Acids, and to a lesser extent, lithium batteries, deep discharging increases wear and tear.

But for a NiCD chemistry as your barbie electric jeep is possibly using, it is essentially to completely discharge the battery to prevent cadmium crystals from forming inside.

RE: Solar
By Starcub on 10/17/2008 5:14:30 PM , Rating: 2
Those figures don't count the coulometric charge efficiency of NiMH batteries, which mean you lose about 30% off the top during charging.

The battery pack on the Prius (current gen at least) only holds about 1.7 Kwh, and is typically charged only 60% to conserve life, and discharged only to 40% -- meaning you can only collect a maximum of about 350 watt-hours before you're overflowing your pack.

I wouldn't have rated him down for it, but the +5 rating smacks of cronyism.

RE: Solar
By Jedi2155 on 10/17/2008 10:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
Its probably the masses of masher fans that have developed.

RE: Solar
By Lifted on 10/16/2008 6:42:28 AM , Rating: 3
Fun with numbers.

So let's assume we can get 2x that amount during the non peak hours, and we have 3 miles of driving per day, or ~1100 miles per year.

Assuming 50 miles per gallon, 1,100/50 = 22 gallons of gas saved per year.

At $3.50/gallon we're looking at savings of $77/year on gas for a $2,000(?) option. 26 years to pay itself off assuming gas prices remain constant, or perhaps 15 - 20 years if gas prices continue rising.

77/2000 = 3.85% ROI each year. I'd rather put the $2,000 in a money market account or CD's and let the interest earned pay for that extra $77 in gas.

RE: Solar
By Hypernova on 10/16/2008 6:55:37 AM , Rating: 5

- You are stranded in the middle of no where.
- Out of gas
- You can probably live for 10 days with out eating
- So with a lot of Sun you can travel about 8Km per day.
- 80Km should get you somewhere with help.

That $2000 just saved your life!!!

Now ignore why you would get yourself stranded in the first place...

RE: Solar
By tallcool1 on 10/16/2008 7:19:18 AM , Rating: 3
It was my understanding that the Prius did not have an electric only mode. (un-modified from the factory)
If that is the case, then your still stranded.

RE: Solar
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 10/16/2008 7:53:06 AM , Rating: 2
It is a hybrid, not a GM. It can travel in electric only, gas only, and gas and electric. The Camry is the same way. The modes are based on load and battery charge, and also on speed. If you go over 45 mph, the gas engine kicks in regardless of other factors.

I cruise along at 40 mph for miles with no gas engine going (Camry hybrid). And of course, if you run out of gas, then you can use the electric only until the battery runs down.

RE: Solar
By aguilpa1 on 10/16/08, Rating: 0
RE: Solar
By Sunrise089 on 10/16/2008 11:17:53 AM , Rating: 2
"Hi, I'm your local Chevy Volt Salesman. I'm glad you realized our product was better for the consumer in every way."


RE: Solar
By PlasmaBomb on 10/16/2008 8:22:39 AM , Rating: 3
To bad you will die of thirst before hunger...

RE: Solar
By blaster5k on 10/16/2008 10:12:31 AM , Rating: 5
You can get a AAA membership for around $50/year. Problem solved.

RE: Solar
By eickst on 10/16/2008 1:00:51 PM , Rating: 4 could freaking WALK 30km instead of limping along 8km a day in your car.

RE: Solar
By ChronoReverse on 10/16/2008 1:59:09 PM , Rating: 1
Erm, I'm not walking 30km a day without good reason

RE: Solar
By FITCamaro on 10/16/2008 3:44:48 PM , Rating: 5
Apparently the reason of NOT DYING isn't good enough?

RE: Solar
By ChronoReverse on 10/16/2008 5:07:22 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I suppose if there's no cell phone coverage I'd have to (Actually I just didn't read the preceding comments properly).

RE: Solar
By SpaceJumper on 10/16/2008 8:40:24 AM , Rating: 2
During the normal working days, the average people will park their car for at least 7 hours per day. Citing from your 14,900W figure, that will be 10.33% improvement or 1,540W energy from the solar power on a sunny day.

RE: Solar
By Shadowmaster625 on 10/16/2008 11:45:05 AM , Rating: 2
It doesnt make much sense to examine highway speeds. We need to know how much power it takes to accelerate to any given speed. If it only takes 100 watt hours to accelerate to 45 mph, then with coasting and other techniques, one could probably travel at a rate of about 3 mph, off a 250 watt panel.

In 2005, Nortman and Hanssen replaced the standard 1.3-kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery with a 9-kWh lithium-ion battery pack from Valence Technology. They got 60 miles out of that battery, driving conservatively. That is only 150 Watt hours per mile.

RE: Solar
By kattanna on 10/16/2008 10:29:38 AM , Rating: 4
im pretty sure the biggest "charge" those panels provide is for the owners eSMUG feeling.

RE: Solar
By Davelo on 10/16/2008 1:08:30 PM , Rating: 2
I'm guessing the solar panels will not even provide enough power to offset the amount of air conditioning needed to cool the car off after parking in the sun. Ouch

RE: Solar
By Doormat on 10/16/2008 6:54:25 PM , Rating: 2
Solar cells would need to get much more efficient than they are now.

I know SunPower has some new cells they put in their 315/305W panels. If you figure you could probably put about 200 cells on the roof of a Prius, thats 625W rated DC. Now the actual output of those sitting in the sun for 8 hours would be about 3.2kW (400W for 8 hours) once you factor in angle, sunlight exposure, time of year, etc.

At 275W/mi (200W/mi plus inefficiencies), that's 11.6 miles, assuming you can power the completely from the battery and store that much (probably not).

What the power would be good for is running a fan to keep air inside the car circulating and possibly the air conditioner to keep it cool if enough power is being generated. And for that you can go with much cheaper solar cells (which is probably what Toyota is using for the $2000 quote - thats about $10/cell - and generate about 200W, more than enough for the fan and possibly some air conditioning.

By ineedaname on 10/15/2008 10:53:34 PM , Rating: 4
IMO it looks pretty much the exact same on the outside except they added that ugly hump that you see on the Camry. It sort of reminds me of a Porpoise.

RE: Looks
By WillBurt on 10/15/2008 10:58:39 PM , Rating: 2
x2 ... Im awaiting The Digital Underground to come out now and be pissed and sue.

RE: Looks
By MrPickins on 10/16/2008 6:06:41 PM , Rating: 2
Now, stop what'ya doin, cause I'm about to ruin, the image and the style that you're used to.

RE: Looks
By Spuke on 10/16/2008 6:53:33 PM , Rating: 2
I look funny but yo I'm makin money see.

RE: Looks
By bldckstark on 10/17/2008 1:03:19 PM , Rating: 2

"I once got busy in a Burger King bathroom!"

RE: Looks
By amanojaku on 10/15/08, Rating: 0
RE: Looks
By Flunk on 10/16/2008 12:31:19 AM , Rating: 2
The real truth is that functionally it doesn't matter what it looks like, appearances don't effect functionality. If the car has better fuel economy/initial price than its competition is much more important.

RE: Looks
By The0ne on 10/16/2008 10:48:38 AM , Rating: 2
While this may be true for the Prius, appearances does affect how the care functions or some of the functions of the vehicle. Performance vehicles are a prime example.

As for mpg/price consideration most well-off consumers will disregard those two factors and get the "wow" and/or "big" factor. Suvs are a prime example and me for buying a EVO with 17mpg highway, which I'm on 80% of the time. But then that's what my 26+MPG Impreza is for :D

RE: Looks
By FITCamaro on 10/16/2008 3:46:22 PM , Rating: 2
Your EVO only gets 17MPG highway? What have you done to it or how fast are you going? Unless you're juicing it constantly or have it heavily modified it should be getting 24-25 mpg highway.

RE: Looks
By Spuke on 10/16/2008 6:54:53 PM , Rating: 2
Your EVO only gets 17MPG highway? What have you done to it or how fast are you going?
Evo's get horrible gas mileage dude. It's like driving a truck. LOL!

RE: Looks
By 9nails on 10/16/2008 9:47:14 PM , Rating: 2
To include, I'm certain an Evo can do better in MPG, if you feather the gas peddle. But if you own an Evo and drive it like grand ma, you probably should have bought a Mercury Milan instead!

RE: Looks
By JosefTor on 10/16/2008 4:09:38 AM , Rating: 2
Well... everything from the windshield and back looks more aggressive and better but... why... why in the world would you put that ugly grill on it? I always wondered who was behind that ugly grill that I find on other Toyotas. They should be fired. One day they will understand that once all the people that want to buy a hybrid for a status symbol go away... people will want a car that is a hybrid but actually doesn't look like butt.

RE: Looks
By Starcub on 10/17/2008 4:37:41 PM , Rating: 2
It looks like they are copying the same slope to high back end that most sports cars use. Not only does it negatively impact visibilty, it makes the prius look like a cheap sports car. Really, this is not the look I'd expect or want in a practical midrange economy car.

Why no Lithium batteries?
By quiksilvr on 10/15/2008 10:50:51 PM , Rating: 4
I cannot understand it. Yes they're expensive and need better casing but the benefits of the battery storage is no question.

RE: Why no Lithium batteries?
By pauldovi on 10/16/2008 12:14:32 AM , Rating: 2
Engineering is a constant struggle between compromises to meet the desired price, performance, and many other factors. Every decision made in the design stage requires some compromise to be made.

Yes, Lithium Ion batteries have much higher energy density. Unfortunately they also are much more prone to damage from heat and are also much more expensive. There are other draw backs such as complicated charging cycles and limited charge rate. Lithium Ion batteries have a difficult time charging fast enough to accumulate all of the energy from braking.

I am sure Toyota has considered the use of all type of energy accumulation.

RE: Why no Lithium batteries?
By Guttersnipe on 10/16/2008 1:37:17 AM , Rating: 2
as the other guy said, durability and price must be considered when you need to be affordable.

look at how long ipod and laptop batteries last.
now imagine your car going through batteries like that.....
people wouldn't stand for it... people couldn't afford it.

RE: Why no Lithium batteries?
By Jedi2155 on 10/16/2008 1:40:44 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, the '10 Prius was originally the '09 Prius but it was delayed by a year due to Managment's decision to stick to the proven NiMH technology (plus they have a plant building packs for them...) in this model forcing all the engineering work on this model which was ORIGINALLY designed to use a lithium pack.

As a result, some of the original leaked efficiency numbers were not as high as the final variant due to increase weight and less power density. An additional year was required to redesign the electrical system back to a NiMH pack.

RE: Why no Lithium batteries?
By 9nails on 10/16/2008 10:05:40 PM , Rating: 2
What chemistry of battery was Sony using that kept catching on fire in notebook computers?

I wouldn't want a huge one of those in a car that needs to be crash worthy.

RE: Why no Lithium batteries?
By Jedi2155 on 10/16/2008 10:14:55 PM , Rating: 2
I believe it was the same type that would've been in the Prius, which is probably why they didn't want to use it...

I am unsure why they aren't using A123's systems or Valence Electron's LiPOFe4 based chemistry.

Laughing all the way to the bank
By klstay on 10/16/2008 8:58:35 AM , Rating: 3
Every time I see a Prius on the road I chuckle to myself.

I laugh every time I fill up my PZEV natural gas car that gets 30 MPG for $.85/gallon. (Less than 1/7 the emissions of the Prius.)

I laugh whenever I consider over half the homes in the US are heated with natural gas which could easily be equipped with a home fueling station.

I laugh every April filling out my taxes taking the $3000 tax credit for EACH of the 3 CNG cars my family drives.

I laugh at all the dupes who seem to believe ANY automotive company cares at all about giving them a comparable cost environmentally friendly vehicle worth buying.

I laugh less about most of us seeming to not care that our auto fuel makes us dependent on exports from primitive, violent cultures which could just MAYBE lead to a war or two....

RE: Laughing all the way to the bank
By Davelo on 10/16/2008 3:44:06 PM , Rating: 2
Still not perfect. The range is reduced and so lack of refilling infrastructure is a concern. Are you concerned about driving around with a tank full of CNG at 3600 psi that might be a bomb should the car be involved in a serious accident? How many Joe Sixpacks would blow themselves up smoking a cigarette while refilling their cars in their garage?

RE: Laughing all the way to the bank
By klstay on 10/17/2008 9:13:28 AM , Rating: 2
Nothing ever is perfect. CNG is a compromise in some ways like every other source of energy. My CNG range is 150 miles/CNG fill up. (Our cars are all bi-fuel so we have an additional 360 mile range on gasoline.)

As originally posted, the refilling infrastructure is one of the most compelling points for CNG; half of US homes are heated with natural gas! As to your question of how many would blow themselves up smoking in the garage the answer is - exactly zero. Those systems are low pressure and have more safety redundancy built in than even the most paranoid would mandate.

Also, given the design spec of the tank, connectors and hoses I am more concerned about an airplane falling out of the sky on me while on the interstate than about my CNG tank blowing up in an accident. Especially since the former is statistically more likely than the latter.

RE: Laughing all the way to the bank
By Starcub on 10/17/2008 8:14:08 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting. I read through this article: and it seems that all of the "many negatives" associated with CNG cars could be overcome by expanding the market.

However, there are far fewer airplanes in the sky than there are vehicles on the road. I also wonder if there might be other issues that might arise from an increase in scale.

looks nice!
By matt0401 on 10/15/2008 11:55:04 PM , Rating: 2
I like it! I think it looks sexier (if that's even possible considering it's a Prius). You can tell they made it look sleeker, more aggressive, and not so round like the previous model. I'm curious to see what they've done to that tail lights, or if they still have that nerdy, huge, square shape.

RE: looks nice!
By Jedi2155 on 10/16/2008 1:42:24 AM , Rating: 2
I'm curious to see what they've done to that tail lights, or if they still have that nerdy, huge, square shape.

Is that such a problem? Aren't we all nerds after all :).

RE: looks nice!
By matt0401 on 10/16/2008 10:50:27 PM , Rating: 2
Heh, well I actually don't mind the strange square shape. I love the Prius still. Of course I'm an admitted nerd/geek/whatever so that may be a factor. I like other car's tail lights better though, and think the Prius would attract more customers if it made the lights more mainstream by sticking to the tried-and-true horizontal rectangular shape that almost all car manufacturers stick too. I'm sure the genii at Toyota could pull it off.

By Hare on 10/16/2008 1:31:00 AM , Rating: 2
Look at the headlights on the first and second picture. They don't look the same. If you open the first image you can see that the headlights have been photoshopped. It looks like someone combined the latest Yaris and Prius in photoshop...

Anyway. At least it looks better than the current Prius if this actually represents the next gen Prius.

RE: Photoshop?
By Brandon Hill on 10/16/2008 3:13:13 AM , Rating: 2
The second and third images have messed up aspect ratios. Look how squished the interior pics look.

As for the rest of the design, look at the spy shots. Everything matches up:

And here are some more shots dug up by some Japanese mags:

Is this '09 model?
By TheFace on 10/16/2008 1:34:49 AM , Rating: 2
I thought that they were going to restyle and be more efficient for the '09 model and then for '10 Toyota was going to come out with a plug-in hybrid with the Li-Ion tech. Maybe it was '11 that they were going to make that move?

RE: Is this '09 model?
By andrinoaa on 10/16/2008 5:05:34 AM , Rating: 2
If ever there was a reason to get the shits with Toyota, this is it. What a fucking lot of backwards looking bean counters! This proves that the Prius is just a show pony not a leap forward. They are sitting on their laurels. Here we are, expecting a leap forward ie better looking and much better milage. What do they do? Just the same as every other 2bit shit car company--biggger and uglier. They had an opprotunity to ram home their advantage. What an fugly looking dishwasher! Now, I truly beleive that GM will take the tech mantle when the VOLT is finally released - if they manage to ride the storm!
Can't bloody wait!

By BillyBatson on 10/16/2008 3:46:20 AM , Rating: 2
it is still ugly as sin and now looks like an overgrown prius.

RE: horrible....
By BillyBatson on 10/16/2008 3:48:24 AM , Rating: 2
i meant to say yaris

Looks like a Door Stop!
By Yahma on 10/16/2008 11:25:04 AM , Rating: 2
Why does Toyota continue to make Prius's that look like a friggin Door Stop ? The PRIUS has got to take the award for the ugliest car. If it weren't for high gas prices, the Prius would sell about as well as the Ford Pinto sells today.

RE: Looks like a Door Stop!
By onelittleindian on 10/16/2008 3:12:49 PM , Rating: 2
Say what you want, but this new Prius is a big, big improvement over the old ones.

The panel will be useful
By Retrospect on 10/16/2008 9:14:23 AM , Rating: 3
I don't know why some of you guys said the panel is not useful not even going to power the cooling fan.

I have a single panel the size of a car roof at my farm and the fan and tv runs of from it no problem

Original Source:
By TeacherTim2 on 10/16/2008 7:49:09 PM , Rating: 2
FYI...the pictures were originally posted at, at this page:


RE: Original Source:
By BruceLeet on 10/17/2008 2:05:31 AM , Rating: 1
The largest online gathering of homos, period.

MUCH more attractive
By tastyratz on 10/15/2008 11:23:34 PM , Rating: 2
Old prius was ugly as sin. This one is actually much sharper looking. Much more aggressive.
Headlights are more aggressive.
New aggressive line along the chassis (similar to the most recent celica)
Bumper looks bulkier and beefier.
Wheels look more aggressive (if those are release wheels)
Dolphin hood hump needs to go, but other than that its a much more attractive car.

I still have no interest in getting one. I drive high hp turbo rwd sports cars... Gas mileage isn't exactly my priority.

By FuzionMonkey on 10/15/2008 11:36:00 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure sure I like the new grill. Then again, the old prius wasn't so great, either.

I think it's...
By Noya on 10/15/2008 11:49:12 PM , Rating: 2
I think it's much better looking than the 2004 model. It actually looks like a "normal" small car along the lines of the Honda Fit or Mazdaspeed 3.

Where is the bumper?
By toyotabedzrock on 10/16/2008 1:18:33 AM , Rating: 2
The closeup doesn't look like a US model car, normally cars sold here have some kind of bumper, 5mph, maybe I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure it's supposed to by law?

By Yeco on 10/16/2008 6:51:14 AM , Rating: 2

I have some serieus questions about these cars and the way they are tagged as environmentaly friendly. The gain you get from recovering the energie of decelleration is minimal and surely when you add the extra weight of batteries and elektromotor.
The way you drive is much more important.

By poodles on 10/16/2008 10:18:40 AM , Rating: 1
Imagine trying to pick up a girl in this ride. I guess you could maybe get some hemp wearing hippie into it, but talk about the ultimate nerd mobile, this is it huh?

RE: ew...
By SiliconAddict on 10/16/2008 9:32:42 PM , Rating: 1
Why would I want to deal with someone who is so shallow that she bases a person on their car? Hell I spent 30K on my Prius. Maybe I should have left the sticker on it. that would impress.
Seriously though. I've met women like this. No. Just no. I want someone with a brain, not looking at your checkbook.

PS- If that is how you pick up women I feel sorry for you. Its hell of a lot more fun flirting with them, then trying to impress with a fucking car.

4 year old girls says…
By austinag on 10/16/2008 11:18:59 AM , Rating: 2
I have to relate a story: Driving down the road the other day my daughter started laughing hysterically. When I asked her why, she pointed at an 08 Prius and said “That car is funny”. So, I’ll probably wait for the Volt or Insight.

Women laugh at me enough as is.

i really dislike
By Suntan on 10/16/2008 2:10:37 PM , Rating: 2
I really dislike the look of the Yaris. The front is all puckered up as if the car just ate a lemon sour.


By jahwarrior on 10/16/2008 5:26:13 PM , Rating: 2
still looks like a gay spaceship

By SiliconAddict on 10/16/2008 9:27:21 PM , Rating: 1
Took my '07 Prius in to get a new HID bulb. the bulb is $150 alone. However what brings the cost of replacing said bulb up to $300 is the labor involved. Apparently to replace a HID bulb in a Prius you need to remove the bumper cover, remove the inner tirewell shroud, then physically remove the headlight assembly since you can't get at it from the back. I went online and purchased through Toyota access to the official maint manual for $30 and lo and behold its true. I understand its tight in there with two engines but for the love of god WTF Toyota? Unless they change this by the time I start looking at a new car in 12/13 Toyota can go fuck themselves. Other then that love the car.

Your coffin next year...
By on 10/16/08, Rating: -1
RE: Your coffin next year...
By KITH on 10/16/2008 6:42:55 PM , Rating: 2
buried in the cemetery?

RE: Your coffin next year...
By 9nails on 10/16/2008 9:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
I'd be careful, they knew how to spell "fatalities" at least.


RE: Your coffin next year...
By msp35 on 10/17/2008 2:04:44 AM , Rating: 2
Must be all those years playing Mortal Kombat...


RE: Your coffin next year...
By on 10/17/08, Rating: -1
RE: Your coffin next year...
By on 10/17/2008 2:59:56 PM , Rating: 1
burried at sematary...

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