Print 34 comment(s) - last by shaidorsai.. on Nov 19 at 11:28 AM

Prius C will be unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Show

It's hard to keep anything secret in the automotive world, and Toyota has had its fair share of leaks over the past few months. First there were leaked brochures of the Yaris-sized Prius C and most recently, the lightweight, RWD Toyota FT-86/Scion FR-S. Last month, we covered the leaked pictures/specs on the Prius C, but Toyota is just now officially confirming the arrival of the tiny hybrid.
As expected, this will be Toyota's entry-level hybrid in the U.S. market and should be priced thousands less than the standard Prius. Toyota says that the five-seat Prius C is aimed at "youthful shoppers seeking fuel efficiency, technology, and spirited driving dynamics" -- the latter characteristic has never been used to describe a vehicle wearing the Prius badge.
Toyota also claims that the Prius C will deliver over 50 mpg in the city (we're hoping that it edges closer to 60 mpg), will feature nine airbags, Bluetooth connectivity, and will be available with the Entune infotainment system.

Per the leaked specs, the 157" long Prius C will be powered by a 1.5-liter gasoline engine that generates 74hp and a single electric motor that provides 61hp.
Toyota’s Prius C will makes its first stateside appearance at the Detroit Auto Show in January.

Source: Toyota Press Room

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RE: Should sell
By lightfoot on 11/15/2011 11:49:47 AM , Rating: 2
I see only two cup holders in the interior shot above. How is that an "Americanized layout?"

If it were "Americanized" there would be at least two for each passenger seat.

Hell, my Saturn Sky two seat roadster even has THREE cup holders.

RE: Should sell
By Reclaimer77 on 11/15/2011 12:01:29 PM , Rating: 2
Some people just throw the term "Americanized" out there as an blanket insult without any reasoning behind it. The premise being that something "Americanized" is automatically bad without, again, explaining what that even means.

I love my 2000 Subaru Impreza, but the early "Japanized" interior layout is far from optimal or perfect in some aspects. Compared to my friends 2006 Impreza STI, the "Americanized" influence has significantly improved things over the years.

RE: Should sell
By Brandon Hill on 11/15/2011 12:03:47 PM , Rating: 2
Uhhh, it has four drink holders. It has two "cup holders" ahead of the gearshift and bottle holders in each front door.

RE: Should sell
By Dr of crap on 11/15/2011 12:24:46 PM , Rating: 2
And for the back set riders? Nothing?

Just like my '06 Focus, no back seat drink holders.
Had to build my own.
Now I have two in front (and the location of those is terrible and this is a car built in 2006?), two in the front door, and two in the back.

RE: Should sell
By Brandon Hill on 11/15/2011 12:28:31 PM , Rating: 2
There is a single cup holder mounted in the rear of the center console for the rear passengers:

There are probably drink holders in the rear door as well, just like the front doors.

RE: Should sell
By Dr of crap on 11/16/2011 9:10:08 AM , Rating: 2
Single cup holder in the rear? Really.
This is 2011 last time I checked and cup holders are a big thing, and we here in the US like our cup holders, if not for drinks then as storage places.

One in the rear is NOT enough, like I posted above.

RE: Should sell
By geddarkstorm on 11/15/2011 1:10:12 PM , Rating: 1
Also, is it just me, or are these new slew of cars dropping the horsepower ridiculously low? 74 hp on the combustion engine? My little plastic Kia Rio has enough trouble accelerating to highway speeds and it's around 104 hp.

I guess this Prius is good as a town car, at least.

RE: Should sell
By ChronoReverse on 11/15/2011 1:28:50 PM , Rating: 2
This is using Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive right? It should be able to combine the gas engine and electric motor's power then. Not perfectly but it'll likely have somewhat anemic but still useful acceleration with the electric motor providing torque.

RE: Should sell
By geddarkstorm on 11/15/2011 4:13:15 PM , Rating: 2
I have no idea if it's using that hybrid synergy drive train, but I sure hope so, as then it would be more reasonable. ~130 hp would be more than sufficient for a city like I'm in, but 74 or 61, not so much...

RE: Should sell
By EddyKilowatt on 11/15/2011 3:04:05 PM , Rating: 2
You're not too clear on the concept of a hybrid drivetrain, are you?

Downsize the gas engine so it has lower losses, and can spend more of its time operating in its efficient zone. Use the batteries and electric motor for accelerating away from stoplights and up to highway speed.

74 hp is easily enough to maintain highway speed up any interstate grade in the country... and that's all it has to do.

RE: Should sell
By geddarkstorm on 11/15/2011 4:09:03 PM , Rating: 2
That's all well and good, but the electric motor is only 61 hp.

But if both motors are working at the same time for quick acceleration as the poster above mentions, for going up to highway speeds (maintaining isn't the issue), then I could see it working fine. That's what I was wondering about this design, if it does that or not, instead of just one motor or the other when both are sub 100 hp.

RE: Should sell
By geddarkstorm on 11/15/2011 4:10:32 PM , Rating: 2
Also realize I was thinking about this car when talking about the new ones being released with very low horsepower. And that car is -not- a hybrid.

RE: Should sell
By Keeir on 11/15/2011 7:11:33 PM , Rating: 2
A few notes:

#1. Toyota uses an oversized electric motor in thier Hybrids. I doubt that the electric motor is really capable to output more than 30 hp due to Battery limitations. I expect the combined number for the Prius C to be ~100-105. Pretty much the same ballpark as the similiarly sized Rio you mentioned. The instant torque of the electric motor should help, but 0-60 times should be in the 10s range.

#2. The Spark is an "A-segment" car. It is significantly smaller than this Prius C which is a "B-Segment" car.

#3. One way to "save" gas to prevent people from being able to "waste" it. Lower maximum HP=lower maximum gasoline consumption. Lower displacement also often means lower consumption during idle/coast... but lower displacement without turbo = low horsepower.

RE: Should sell
By andres on 11/15/2011 10:01:46 PM , Rating: 2
Also, is it just me, or are these new slew of cars dropping the horsepower ridiculously low? 74 hp on the combustion engine? My little plastic Kia Rio has enough trouble accelerating to highway speeds and it's around 104 hp.

Not just you, many people can think so, but the first thing that I thought was that the Prius C is overpowered. That maybe means that the Prius C is not as well at weight optimization than the Audi A2 3l.

Max power on combustion engines is only peak power. You can't get the maximum power (except with continuously variable transmission) even on highest acceleration. Also, trying to get maximum power ruins efficiency. Electric motors have nearly maximum power at all rpms and at nearly maximum efficiency.

Power at constant speed doesn't matter because with 74hp the Prius C should go at 260km/h (162mph) (assuming same aerodinamics than audi a2 3l, a rolling resistance coefficient of 0.01 and an engine to wheel efficiency of 80%). So:

1- You don't get 104hp with your car.
2- You shouldn't want to use near peak power with your combustion engine.
3- The power on acceleration of Prius C should be about 35% higher than your car's (so 35% more acceleration with the same weight).
4- The Audi A2 3l is limited to 41bhp in ECO mode, and Prius C has 74hp+61hp.

In the end I still think the Prius C is overpowered for an eco car.

RE: Should sell
By Reclaimer77 on 11/16/11, Rating: -1
RE: Should sell
By Samus on 11/16/2011 1:07:45 AM , Rating: 2
Yep, every Focus model has always had a minimum of 3 cup holders, with the SVT and ST having 4, and all models after 2007 having 6 (although the ones in the doors are useless for 'cups' but good for cup-holder coin trays, ash trays, etc)

Even my friends Golf has only two cup holders, and they sit below the radio, causing drink to spash your head unit every time you hit a bump. Ridiculous.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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