Toyota Prius had been a famous hybrid car all over the world. Some people bought the car not for its fuel efficiency, but somehow rather ot has become a trend ro own a toyota prius especially for the celebrities in the U.S.Due to the high demand, Toyota is releasing its 3rd generation Prius soon.
Toyota sleeker, more fuel-efficient update to its iconic Prius, which was introduced at the NAIAS, goes on sale this spring in a US market growing more crowded with competing hybrids and battered by the global financial crisis.
And the magic number is 50.
But the Japanese automaker’s executives are confident that the third-generation gas-electric Prius, which promises a city-highway average of 50 miles to the gallon, will maintain its spot as the top-selling hybrid in the US.
The highly-anticipated 2010 Prius boasts a 4mpg improvement over the current model, which already is the most fuel efficient vehicle ranked by the Environmental Protection Agency. When the Prius first was sold in the US in 2000, it got 41 mpg. The 2010 version shown in Detroit will be sold in 80 countries.
The new Prius debuted a day after Honda unveiled its next-generation hybrid, the 2010 Insight, which will arrive in US showrooms this Apr and is expected to compete head-on with the Prius.
Honda said the Insight will have a lower price than the Civic Hybrid, which has a base price of US$23,650. Toyota says pricing for the 2010 Prius be released shortly before it goes on sale. The 2009 version of the Prius starts at US$22,000.
Jesse Toprak, executive director of industry analysis for the Edmunds automotive website, said the Insight represents a big competitor for Toyota in the hybrid car market that likely will undercut the Prius on price. How Toyota prices the Prius and compares it to the Insight, he said, will be key.
“The new Insight is a direct competitor for Prius,” Toprak said. “Toyota used to have a monopoly in the marketplace.”
Sleek on the inside too.
Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales USA, said before the unveiling that he expects the Insight will appeal to buyers focused on its low price, but Prius will draw drivers looking for a slightly larger vehicle and Toyota’s technology.
“It’s going to be a very good car,” Lentz said of the Insight. But, he added: “I think they’re very different vehicles.”
Prius sales fell 45% in Dec, but Toyota says the new Prius will help increase demand for the car – including by current owners who want to upgrade.
Last month, Toyota said it was shelving its plans to build the Prius in Mississippi amid the industrywide downturn. Toyota’s plant under construction in Blue Springs, Mississippi, was scheduled to begin production in 2010, marking the first time the Prius would be built outside of Japan and China.
Toyota had invested US$300mil in the plant before saying it was delaying production there indefinitely. Lentz said that Toyota plans to finish the shell of the plant, but there’s no update on whether production of the Prius or another Toyota vehicle will take place in Blue Springs.
Sharper looking than the old, but that’s not where the draw is.
The new Prius has a more aerodynamic design, but its exterior is easily recognizable as a Prius. It has a larger and more powerful 1.8l four-cylinder engine, which Toyota says helps improve fuel economy on the highway.
Toyota also will offer options such as a moonroof with solar panels to power the ventilation system. The system uses an electrically powered air circulation fan that doesn’t need the engine to work. It prevents the interior air temperature from rising while the vehicle is parked.
The ventilation system also can be remotely operated, so drivers can adjust the interior temperature before getting inside. Toyota says this remote air conditioning system is an industry first. – AP