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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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behind the times
By Dr of crap on 1/10/2012 12:16:03 PM , Rating: 1
If this is for the young crowd, you most definitely do not need a CD player, but must have mp3 hookup.

Come on Toyota, keep up!




RE: behind the times
By ChronoReverse on 1/10/2012 12:34:57 PM , Rating: 2
It has a bluetooth hookup. What else would you need nowadays with both Android and iPhones fully supporting that?


RE: behind the times
By ksherman on 1/10/2012 12:41:46 PM , Rating: 3
I'd rather just have an AUX port. I don't think I've ever turned bluetooth on in nearly 3-4 years of iPhone ownership.


RE: behind the times
By ChronoReverse on 1/10/2012 1:11:46 PM , Rating: 2
Having something like this would be good reason to then. It doesn't consume much power even in use (and nearly negligible amounts when idle). It'll even automatically reconnect to your phone when you start your car.


RE: behind the times
By omnicronx on 1/10/2012 2:46:10 PM , Rating: 2
BT audio implementations in cars often suck..

A2DP often results in degraded sound quality due to pretty much all implementations defaulting to SBC compression (it actually supports other methods, but only SBC is required and thus what most manufacturers will use. The iPhone for example falls into that category) and device level maxixum bitrates.

Also most of the time the DAC used for A2DP to convert from digital to analog is sadly inferior to the DAC in whatever device you are using for output. This is why the AUX input will often have better sound.(even assuming non degraded sound quality as a result of A2DP)

Its something that's noticeable on almost any stereo system.

Would I care in this car? No.. it probably has speakers made of rice paper anyways.. But BT audio is not some kind of universal solution for all, especially if you have even a low-to-mid and above stereo system in your vehicle.


RE: behind the times
By ChronoReverse on 1/10/2012 3:47:25 PM , Rating: 2
True enough, but if you had decked your car out with a custom audio system, then the lack of AUX would be your own fault =)


RE: behind the times
By V-Money on 1/10/2012 9:13:36 PM , Rating: 4
I'm just throwing this out there, but this whole conversation is pointless, the c will have an aux input, as well as a usb for iPods. Just watch this trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vO1LkknMK0w it clearly shows it @ 28 sec.


Why not......?
By L1011 on 1/11/2012 9:44:27 AM , Rating: 2
Before I ask my question to those much smarter than me, I want to preface it by stating that I know this is not possible, otherwise someone would already be doing it. I'd like to know WHY it's not possible.

Why can't a hybrid car have a tiny gas or diesel engine attached via a step-up gear (say 3:1, three turns generated by the gear to one turn of the engine's crank) to one or more generators to make the car run entirely on electric? This tiny displacement engine (say, less than a liter) would use a small amount of fuel relative to the number of miles the car could go running entirely on electric. Is this not possible due to technological limitations or due to laws of physics prevent this entirely?

Sorry if it's a dumb question, but I'd really like to know.




RE: Why not......?
By ChronoReverse on 1/11/2012 10:36:13 AM , Rating: 2
The Volt does this.

However, the HSD in the Toyota Prius is better than this. It has the capability to run entirely on electric or entirely on gas and anything in between.

The computer decides when it's better to have the gas engine supplement drive power and when it's better to have the gas engine run the generator.

This way, you're not limited to the power of the electric engine only and can combine the power of both engines when the situation calls for it.


RE: Why not......?
By L1011 on 1/11/2012 11:03:06 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry if I wasn't clear before. I meant the gas or diesel engine would run ONLY the generator and not act as part of the drive train. IOW, the car would not have a battery (except to start the engine, of course, like in a traditional car) and would run entirely on the electric power generated by the gas or diesel engine attached to the generator.


RE: Why not......?
By ChronoReverse on 1/11/2012 11:49:39 AM , Rating: 2
That's why my first line mentioned the Volt.

Then I elaborated and showed how that is a poorer design.


RE: Why not......?
By shiftypy on 1/12/2012 3:36:28 AM , Rating: 2
I prefer the serial hybrid model although not necessarily Volt

My reasoning is that you get a simpler design: get rid of gearbox, some drivetrain stuff, optimize engine for one rpm really and eventually use wheel hub electric motors.
If you don't need ICengine to act as a proper car engine but rather as a generator I think there is a lot to gain.


RE: Why not......?
By corduroygt on 1/12/2012 9:02:45 AM , Rating: 2
Not on the highway. At constant speed and constant load, it's always more efficient to drive the wheels directly by a gas engine. Too much loss when charging/discharging batteries. That's a big reason why some trains in Germany use truck transmissions to drive the wheels directly from the output of the diesel engine, instead of using diesel electric propulsion.


RE: Why not......?
By ChronoReverse on 1/12/2012 10:55:37 AM , Rating: 2
Of all that, the only thing you gain going serial hybrid is getting rid of the drivetrain stuff.

Wheel hub motors are a terrible idea that since it's all unsprung weight. Therefore it's better to have a single engine with the power distributed to the wheels.

Toyota's solution does optimize the engine for one RPM (to the point where their hybrid ICE are Atkinson cycle) so that's not a factor either.

It's also a pretty heavy waste to have an entire gas engine's power not available for drive when you need it. This means you need a larger electric motor (more expensive due to rare earths) and larger battery racks (more weight) as the car will need to be more electric than hybrid to avoid running down the batteries.

It's one of those things that sound like "obviously this would be better, why nobody do this?" but has a ton of caveats that make the gains (if any) not terribly great.


RE: Why not......?
By 91TTZ on 1/16/2012 1:45:56 PM , Rating: 2
That is how trains work.


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 -

quote:
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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atkinson_cycle#Vehicl...


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.


Not bad
By Cheesew1z69 on 1/10/2012 12:13:19 PM , Rating: 2
Not a bad looking car, I wouldn't mind test driving it.




RE: Not bad
By phantom505 on 1/10/2012 12:20:23 PM , Rating: 2
I thought it was a Fiesta at first. Well, at least they picked a prettier car rip off.


RE: Not bad
By ksherman on 1/10/2012 12:44:04 PM , Rating: 2
My first thought was that it was a slightly longer Mazda 2. Or a squished Mazda3 5-door


RE: Not bad
By ChronoReverse on 1/10/2012 1:10:38 PM , Rating: 3
Made me think of a squashed Matrix myself.


RE: Not bad
By Spuke on 1/10/2012 1:19:17 PM , Rating: 2
Not bad looking.


Biggest improvement = price and styling
By corduroygt on 1/10/2012 12:15:52 PM , Rating: 2
The biggest improvement of this over the regular Prius is a much better price and styling. Prius gets 51/48 mpg.

I expected the Highway mpg to be less than the normal Prius due to aerodynamics but it's only a 2mpg improvement in the city. I expected 55+ in the city.

Still, very respectable to have a 50+ mpg car for less than 19k.




RE: Biggest improvement = price and styling
By kraeper on 1/10/2012 2:29:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Still, very respectable to have a 50+ mpg car for less than 19k.


^^ This. It puts a bit of a dent in the 'hybrids cost more, and take forever to make up the savings in gas' argument, which I generally subscribe to.


RE: Biggest improvement = price and styling
By Ringold on 1/10/2012 3:31:33 PM , Rating: 1
Fiesta starts at less than 16k and gets 40mpg highway.

If Ford would bring over the ECOnetic version, it gets 65mpg with a 1.6L diesel.

All traditional hybrids, compared to just optimized ICE powertrains, appear to me to be total shams. Plug-in hybrids, or EV's, to me seem to be the only rational ones, where it's possible to almost entirely forgo fuel use. Otherwise, just paying more for image when other cars can do the same with cheaper technology.


RE: Biggest improvement = price and styling
By corduroygt on 1/10/2012 4:46:25 PM , Rating: 2
And only 29 mpg city. This thing gets 53 mpg in the city. People who drive exclusively on the highway won't consider these vehicles. No fiesta owner is getting 40 mpg, the best they see is 33. Hybrids help with city mileage and a lot of people just look at the highway number and think that's the mpg they'll get.


By Ringold on 1/10/2012 11:06:06 PM , Rating: 2
Fair point about the city mileage; I drive not necessarily long distances, 100 miles a day round trip tops, but it is generally about 75% highway, so that experience biased me. I'd be surprised if Fiesta's werent topping 40 on the highway, though I havent checked user reports.


Hard to find the sub $19,000 variant
By rstove02 on 1/10/2012 12:35:39 PM , Rating: 2
Given Toyota's track record with Priuses, only the cheapest variant will be sub $19,000 and will be impossible to find/get. The only option will be the ones with all the bells and whistles installed that will run over $23,000.




RE: Hard to find the sub $19,000 variant
By ksherman on 1/10/2012 12:43:02 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, can't help but feel that they missed their price point a little. But it's not a bad price, might look at it when I can afford a car.


By vol7ron on 1/10/2012 2:01:27 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with this as well. Also...

quote:
"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,..."


I'm curious on their definition of young. I doubt college kids could afford anything around $20k, my guess is the 30s and up (maybe mid-20s).


By omnicronx on 1/10/2012 2:58:32 PM , Rating: 2
All manufacturers do this.. They make a very small amount of the base vehicles so that they can flash the 'starting from' price in their ads, but as you stated you won't find them..

Heck for most vehicles in this price range, you can add ~3000 just for the basic necessities of driving (i.e you are not even at the bells and whistles stage) for most people (i.e Auto transmission, power locks and windows, air-conditioning)..

This does not even include the dealer often upping the price due to basic supply and demand which has consistently been the case for the Prius.


Not bad
By lagomorpha on 1/10/2012 2:17:07 PM , Rating: 3
Someone should probably tell Toyota's marketing department that rather than preferring small, cute cars, Americans are concerned that small cars will be too small for them. Putting 5'10" models in heels next to the car at shows and publicity photos doesn't really do much to shake that image, petite girls in flats would probably have been smarter here.




RE: Not bad
By Jedi2155 on 1/10/2012 11:47:49 PM , Rating: 2
I don't care as long as she's hot.


Is this a plug-in hybrid?
By UNCjigga on 1/10/2012 2:27:21 PM , Rating: 2
I would only consider it if I can access exclusive plug-in only parking spots in my city!




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