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Toyota Prius c hybrid   (Source: Tiffany Kaiser, DailyTech)

Toyota Prius c hybrid  (Source: Tiffany Kaiser, DailyTech)

Toyota Prius c hybrid  (Source: Tiffany Kaiser, DailyTech)
The 2013 Toyota Prius c hybrid is due to launch this March

Toyota revealed its Prius c hybrid at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) this morning, describing the new member as a car meant for the city. In fact, that's exactly what the "c" in Prius c stands for.

The 2013 Toyota Prius c hybrid leaked way back in October of last year, with more details trickling out through November. But this morning marked the hybrid's first North American debut, and the specs have caught a lot of attention.

Toyota's Prius c hybrid has a 73 HP, 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with a 60 HP electric motor. It also offers a 144-volt nickel-metal-hydride battery and continuously variable automatic transmission with front-wheel drive. According to Toyota, the estimated gas mileage for the hybrid is 53 mpg city and 46 mpg highway.

The Prius c hybrid is a bit smaller than the original Prius, coming in at 19.1-inches shorter bumper-to-bumper, 542 pounds lighter, and a smaller gas engine with a 1.5-liter instead of a 1.8-liter. It also has 87.4 cubic feet of passenger space and 17.1 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the backseat while the original Prius has 94 cubic feet of passenger space and 21.6 cubic feet of cargo volume.

Prius c hybrid drivers can select from Normal, Eco and EV drive modes as always, and will be offered at a price tag below $19,000.

"It's sized, priced, styled and packaged to appeal to young buyers on a budget who, until now, have probably found a hybrid experience out of reach," said Jim Lentz, Toyota USA president and CEO. "That's why we view the Prius as a gateway vehicle and a key component of our Prius strategy."

The Prius c hybrid will offer standard equipment such as an AM/FM/CD stereo with Bluetooth hands-free and audio connectivity, remote keyless entry, steering wheel audio controls, nine airbags and 15-inch steel wheels.

The 2013 Toyota Prius c hybrid is due to launch this March.

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1.5L 73HP?
By 225commander on 1/10/2012 2:12:55 PM , Rating: 2
I'm kinda baffled by these 'specs' for the ICE engine -

73 HP, 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with a 60 HP electric motor

is this some sort of cheap low tech 4banger?
at 1.5L, 73HP seem waaay weak for that displacement.

RE: 1.5L 73HP?
By lagomorpha on 1/10/2012 2:19:54 PM , Rating: 2
It's not designed for output, it's designed to minimize fuel consumption. If it's like its larger 1.8L sibling then it's using a trick to emulate the Atkinson cycle which trades power for fuel economy.

RE: 1.5L 73HP?
By EddyKilowatt on 1/10/2012 2:31:39 PM , Rating: 2
Well, it's obviously not a superbike engine, maybe not even 4-valve. High specific output obviously wasn't a priority. Presumably low specific consumption was.

It'll be interesting to hear what the rationale is. There is definitely an efficiency advantage to lower engine speeds, I imagine that'll be the story (and it may be legit). The fact that a 2-valve engine (if that's what it is) is cheaper won't be mentioned, but was undoubtedly was a factor as well.

At any rate they've got gobs of torque from that 60 hp motor to get the thing launched from stoplights. I look for hybrid engine sizes to continue to shrink as the motors and especially batteries continue to improve.

RE: 1.5L 73HP?
By vortmax2 on 1/10/2012 3:00:57 PM , Rating: 2
It's probably very similar, if not identical, to the pre-2010 Prius engines...

RE: 1.5L 73HP?
By omnicronx on 1/10/2012 3:14:20 PM , Rating: 2
Its a parallel hybrid powertrain, so you can't think of it in that way..

It only uses the ICE when it has too; For example acceleration under 15MPH operates solely on the electric engine and actually has the ability to have both the ICE and electric motor operate in tandem, or by themselves depending on the situation.

Essentially the ICE only kicks in when it is running at an efficient speed (i.e for the most part not accelerating at normal speeds) and under load.. (for example: pedal to the metal, high speed highway driving)

If you want to read up on the power split device that is the heart of the prius engine, there is a lot of info available on it.

RE: 1.5L 73HP?
By Mint on 1/16/2012 12:16:59 PM , Rating: 2
Atkinson cycle.

Basically, the effective compression stroke is shortened, so it's only taking in the fuel/air of maybe a 1.0L engine, but the expansion stroke is longer and extracts more power from the combustion.

Lower power density, but better efficiency.

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