Print 61 comment(s) - last by Brandon Hill.. on Nov 12 at 2:51 PM

Toyota said that a new redesigned Prius wouldn't launch for more than a year

Toyota said it is considering making a significant change to the design of its wedge-shaped Prius.

According to the automaker, it hasn't chosen a new design for the Prius yet, but it is trying to determine whether to "evolve it," or "really evolve it." It is currently reviewing clay-model prototypes for the new Prius design.

"There's an undercurrent among most people that they're ready for a new Prius look," said Chris Hostetter, Toyota's vice president for strategic planning in the U.S. "Maybe our architecture has been a little bit similar for the last two generations."

The Prius, which was first launched in Japan in 1997 and the U.S. in 2000, had an exterior design that was altered from Toyota's Yaris sedan.

A second generation Prius was released in 2003, where it received the raked hood and windshield. From 2003 to 2004, Prius sales increased dramatically from 43,162 to 125,742.

The third-generation Prius pushed fuel efficiency (and sales) even further, while the Prius c was introduced with fuel economy ratings of 50 mpg combined.

Back in May of this year, the Prius family was named the third best-selling vehicle line in the world.

Toyota said that a new redesigned Prius wouldn't launch for more than a year.

Jonny Lieberman, senior features editor at Motor Trend, recently spoke with his sources at Toyota and shared a bit of secret info about the next Prius. Lieberman hinted that the next Prius will have a fuel economy rating of 60 mpg. This shouldn't be too hard to achieve assuming a lighter vehicle weight, more powerful electric motor, and a switch from NiMH to lithium-ion batteries.

Source: The Detroit News

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RE: Not related... but...
By Mint on 11/9/2012 12:06:00 PM , Rating: 2
If you like optional equipment, the plugin is probably going to be an even better choice than the regular hybrid.

With the CMax, the Energi ($32950-$3750) is only $1k above the similarly equipped Hybrid SEL model ($28200). Despite the 47mpg of the hybrid,
A) that'll pay itself back in under 2 years, and everything after that is gravy
B) the plugin will be worth a lot more on resale
C) the engine of the plugin will have only been used for maybe half of the miles, reducing wear.
Yes, that's after the tax credit, but even without that, it's still worth it in the long run. In fact, I bet the lease rates of the plugin will eventually be lower than that of the SEL hybrid, reflecting the above.

I hope the Fusion Energi has a similarly small pricing delta. This is something I've been expecting because it just makes sense. If you have a hybrid, you only need to add a charger and bigger battery to make it a plugin. It shouldn't cost $10k more.

RE: Not related... but...
By Brandon Hill on 11/9/2012 1:05:42 PM , Rating: 2
While I like the styling of the Fusion Hybrid/Energi and think it's a great vehicle, it wouldn't be on my shopping list (even though I think it's the best Fusion currently available). The Fusion Hybrid only has 12 cu ft of trunk space. That would be a deal killer for me.

I do have my eye on the C-Max Hybrid though. It's a much more versatile vehicle.

RE: Not related... but...
By Mint on 11/10/2012 4:46:58 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, I thought you were saying that you'd pick the Fusion Hybrid above. It would be neat if a company figured out a way to remove a chunk of battery for long hauls, just like minivans can take out a row of seats.

I suspect this will become less of a problem down the road. We can do 4L/kWh for batteries, so that's only 1 cubic foot for the 7kWh in the Energi. In time, we'd probably only need 1 more cu ft for electronics/wiring/cooling/protection. It took a couple years for the CE industry to figure out how to cram so much into under 1" thick notebooks or 8mm thick smartphones.

Still, as I mentioned above, the C-Max Energi costs very little over an equally equipped C-Max Hybrid, and will still have 20 cu ft of trunk space. Unless you want a barebones CMax, give the Energi some serious consideration, and don't forget that it'll have a higher resale value.

RE: Not related... but...
By Brandon Hill on 11/12/2012 2:51:47 PM , Rating: 2
If I HAD to choose a Fusion, it would be the hybrid. But I think the C-Max is the better vehicle for me as I have a 6-month old and all his crap to lug around ;)

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