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 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
"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher

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