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Toyota Prius
Toyota's Prius is a big hit globally

Although Prius drivers are often the butt of jokes here in the United States, the vehicles are still quite popular due to their lofty fuel economy numbers and "green" image. The original Prius was introduced to the United States in 2000 and is currently in its third generation. The larger Prius v was introduced late last year, while the smaller Prius c went on sale in the U.S. earlier this year.

The popularity of the Prius family of hybrids doesn't just apply to the U.S., however. Sales of the hybrids have been booming globally. According to Automotive News, the Prius is now the third best-selling nameplate in the world when it comes to the automobile sales through the first quarter of 2012 (247,230 units).


Toyota Prius v
 
First place goes to Prius' cheaper, older brother: the Toyota Corolla (300,800 units). In second place sits the Ford Focus (277,000 units), which was recently revamped with a host of technological improvements and new engines to boost infotainment options and fuel economy across the board.
 
With three different sizes of Prius available and with prices starting under $20,000, Toyota is hoping to solidify its position as a leader in hybrid vehicles. 


Toyota Prius c

Source: The Globe and Mail



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RE: Interesting
By Samus on 5/31/2012 1:12:22 AM , Rating: 2
I want to agree with you, and I know what you mean, but there are dozens of small vehicles (cars, suvs, trucks) with torquey diesel engines available around the world. The only structural difference between them and their petrol brethrens usually comes down to different engine mounts. So for trucks where towing capacity is increased, a stronger frame for a diesel is definately more desirable, but that was never the idea of a small pickup truck.

Small pickups are for hauling around light loads and objects that won't fit in a roofed vehicle (refridgerator, mattress, large glass panes, doors, etc) and most of the time this stuff doesn't require any significant power under the hood.

The NA Ranger was canned because it became too expensive to produce alongside the F150. Ford is on record (going back to the Nasser-era) stating that they'd rather have everyone buy an F-150, and slowly priced the Ranger into extinction. Solid proof this was a motive was the obvious price increases year over year for the Ranger. By the time it was phased out last December it cost $19,000 dollars in base trim. A more equiped F-150 cost $22,000, if you consider the F-150 V6 to be 'better' than the 2.3l I4 the Ranger comes with. The truck always sold well, Ford just wanted to streamline their assembly lines, and I know what they mean, it makes sense to build more of one product. That's why they killed Mercury, even when SOME Mercury's sold as well as their Ford equivilents and at a higher profit margin. It still, to Ford, didn't justify the extra SKU.

The Ranger is still sold in other markets and with a diesel, all engine options are I4's. The Tacoma is commonly sold with an I4 diesel as well, but again, isn't available in the USA. And back to my point, it can't even be equiped with an I4 petrol engine in the USA like the Ranger and S10 are, yet Toyota wonders why they don't sell as well.

Try telling a VW TDI owner there isn't a market for small diesel engines and they'll just laugh their way to the gas station, a place they only visit every 500 miles.


RE: Interesting
By EddyKilowatt on 5/31/2012 3:16:38 PM , Rating: 2
"Try telling a VW TDI owner there isn't a market for small diesel engines and they'll just laugh their way to the gas station, a place they only visit every <strike>500</strike> 800 miles. "

/2003 TDI Golf

BTW, to OP: Higher diesel torque is only between the engine and the transmission input, and affects only the bellhousing, not the frame/body. Between transmission output and wheels, torque is comparable... probably higher for the gas engine, in case the driver floors it in first gear.


RE: Interesting
By Bad-Karma on 5/31/2012 4:10:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
BTW, to OP: Higher diesel torque is only between the engine and the transmission input, and affects only the bellhousing, not the frame/body. Between transmission output and wheels, torque is comparable... probably higher for the gas engine, in case the driver floors it in first gear.


Did you sleep through high school physics?

According to you then no matter how much torque or horsepower you can generate it doesn't matter since it all goes into the "bell housing" and no further. Really??

Yes , the transmission convert what the engine is handing it into the appropriate configuration depending on demand and speed. However, the transmission doesn't magically absorb all the extra power and make it go away. The power still gets transferred back down the drive shaft and axle. If the frame is not able to handle the torsion place on it by the resistance of the axle then it will eventually fatigue and twist the frame.

Watch the tractor of a heavily loaded 18 wheeler when it applies power from a dead stop. There is so much torque being applied to the axle that the entire tractor frame will start rocking on it's springs as the suspension tries to absorb all that resisted torque.

And no, gas engines do not make more torque than their respective to displacement diesel counterparts. They usually generate far more horsepower but not torque.



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