Toyota's All New Hybrid c

Discussion in 'Toyota Prius Family' started by atlaw4u, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. atlaw4u

    atlaw4u Well-Known Member

    [​IMG]The c is about to take center stage.

    [FIMG=RIGHT][/FIMG]Reid Stewart - CleanMPG - Jan. 10, 2012

    Toyota continues to release new members to its Prius family with the latest reveal being the much anticipated c at the Detroit Auto Show earlier today.

    According to Toyota, the letter “c” represents “city” in the Prius c name. Designed to function as an urban-friendly vehicle with an engaging driving experience, hatchback utility, and a city/highway/combined fuel economy rating of 53/46/50 mpgUS, Prius c offers the highest city mpg rating of any vehicle without a plug. The all-new Prius c joins the Prius Family, which includes the third generation Prius, the versatile new Prius v and the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, which will debut in early 2012.

    Beginning with the first generation fourteen years ago, over two million Prius units have been sold worldwide. Prius remains the world’s premier eco-vehicle brand, and has made great strides establishing consumer trust in hybrid technology. With Prius c, Toyota will make the market’s most proven hybrid technology available to subcompact car shoppers with a starting MSRP below $19,000.

    When the 2012 Prius c arrives in showrooms this spring, the all-new hatchback will offer:
    • The highest rated city fuel economy estimate of any vehicle without a plug.

    • The most accessible Prius will feature a starting MSRP below $19,000 with proven hybrid powertrain and premium technology.

    • A premium subcompact car experience thanks to a wide array of available convenience and advanced in-car electronics features, including a standard 3.5-in. full color TFT multi-information display, hands-free phone capability, USB port with iPod connectivity, and available Display Audio system with Navigation and Entune.

    • The scale of the all-new Prius c becomes apparent when compared to the familiar proportions of the midsize Prius. The Prius c is smaller and lighter than its midsize Prius stable mate with 19.1 inches less length (157.3 vs. 176.4 inches OAL) and 542 lbs. less weight than the Prius (2,500 vs. 3,042 lbs.). In adapting the Hybrid Synergy Drive to the smaller Prius c platform, each of the system’s major components were re-designed to reduce weight, scale, and improve efficiency.

    The c will be available in four trims offering features, equipment, and enhanced capability within a value proposition. c provides many standard features such as automatic climate control, tilt and telescopic steering wheel with audio, climate, Multi-Information Display and Bluetooth hands-free controls, and remote keyless entry with illuminated entry among a long list of standard equipment.


    The c’s Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) system integrates the operation of components that include a gasoline engine, an electric motor within a Continuously Variable Transaxle, a nickel-metal hydride battery, a power control unit (inverter), a DC-DC converter, a step-up converter and a hybrid control computer. The hybrid control computer governs the seamless application of gasoline engine and electric power depending on driving demands and selected drive mode.

    The Prius c 's Atkinsonized 1.5L I4 produces 73 HP and 82 lb.-ft. of torque, contributing to a total hybrid system output of 99 HP. It also arrives not as a PZEV but an SULEV.

    Where some cutting occured was the size and capability of the pack as th eNiMH is now providing just 144 volts.

    Just like the rest of the Prius family, the c offers three distinct drive modes: Normal, Eco, and EV mode. Eco mode reduces overall energy consumption by governing climate control and throttle to improve vehicle efficiency. Under certain conditions, the EV mode allows the Prius c to be driven solely by electric power for a short distance said to be slightly less than a mile.

    Interior and Exterior Design

    The Prius c exterior offers decent aerodynamic performance with a Cd of 0.28. The Prius c’s lower-body styling is wider below the beltline.

    The Prius c’s available exterior colors include three new colors – Habanero, Moonglow, and Summer Rain Metallic – along with Blue Streak Metallic, Absolutely Red, Black Sand Pearl, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Classic Silver Metallic, and Super White.

    The Prius c interior is futuristic yet passenger friendly. Using black as a basic interior color, the door trim, seat surfaces, and instrument panel feature treatments in lighter colors to help create contrast.

    The c’s packaging design strategically locates key drivetrain components within the chassis to help optimize interior space and handling. The compact gasoline engine, transaxle and power-control unit are optimally placed within the vehicle to help enhance weight distribution and lower the center of gravity. In addition, the hybrid battery and fuel tank are positioned together beneath the rear seat, ideally distributing their mass within the wheelbase to improve weight distribution to help enhance handling. By locating the battery and fuel tank below the rear seat, the Prius c is able to offer 104 cu. ft. of interior volume (87.4 cu. ft. passenger volume, 17.1 cu. ft. cargo volume).

    All told, it is a hopped up Yaris with accents befitting the all-new Prius family :)


    The 2012 Prius c will offer three audio system configurations. A base audio system features either four or six speakers, depending on the model, and includes AM/FM CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability, auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod connectivity, hands-free phone capability, phone book access, and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology.

    The Display Audio with Navigation and Entune has six speakers and augments capability with a 6.1-inch touchscreen, SiriusXM Satellite Radio capability (with 3-month trial subscription to XM Select package), HD Radio with iTunes tagging, and advanced voice recognition. Toyota’s Entune multi-media system functions through select smart phones’ interface that brings applications such as Bing and Pandora to the vehicle audio display. It also features real time information such as traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports, and stocks.


    The Prius c is equipped with nine airbags strategically located to help protect the driver and passengers in the event of certain types of accidents.

    The new 2012 Prius c, like all Toyota models, is also equipped with the standard Star Safety System, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), and Smart Stop Technology (SST).

    Early Conclusions

    Given the smaller size, lighter weight and improved HSD albeit lower cap NiMH and output, I still suspect this thing will be a gas pump slayer when push comes to shove. The all-new Yaris platform from which it is based is already tuned to proved much better feedback and handling while reducing road noise. Add to it the 1.5L w/ HSD and an upfront cost < $19K and you have the makings for an affordable fuel miser and entry into the Prius family for the youngest driving members.

    And we cannot wait for our turn behind the wheel later this month as it is going to be a hell of a preview and one we are greatly looking forward too.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2012
  2. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    Re: Toyota shows off an electric future

    I had rejoiced in the iQ and that someone had finally brought a car to the States that is right-sized for my needs. It has been a long wait, but now that the iQ is here it gets crappy gas mileage! :eyebrow: Owners are reporting 30 to 37mpg highway.

    I wonder what a hybrid iQ would get? I guess we'll never know since Toyota elected to introduce an all electric, instead, with crappy range. :Banane15:

    So once again I'll be buying a bigger, heavier car than I need to get the gas mileage I want. Hello Prius C.
  3. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Re: Toyota shows off an electric future

    I would not trust what owners are reporting much.. unless you drive like the typical owner.
  4. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Re: Toyota shows off an electric future

    Good one, Herm.
  5. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

  6. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

    With as much of a weight advantage as it has vs. the "regular" Prius, I am actually surprised its numbers aren't higher. Maybe that's the smaller battery pack? Then again...we all know the story about EPA figures. Low price and a Prius badge should make it a solid success. Another one I'll keep on my radar as a car for myself down the road.
  7. iluvmacs

    iluvmacs Active Member

    How'd they manage to bring up the city MPG but down the highway MPG at the same time? Weird. Really should be getting a much higher combined number. :(
  8. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    My guess is that with the weight reduction, the city could be increased, but the aerodynamics are not as good and hinders the highway mpg.
    Gen II: 48, 45 combined 46mpg
    Gen III: 51, 48, combined 50mpg
  9. civic94coupe206

    civic94coupe206 Well-Known Member

    I would just get a regular prius and get the same 50 mpg overall. its like driving a corolla vs camry, with the same mpg overall. if it shines in the city, I would just get a leaf. 51 mpg city for the regular prius, 53 for the c. 2 mpg difference..

    I was expecting the C to average 55mpg since its a smaller car.
  10. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    This just reminds us of how good a regular Prius is.. even with 500lbs of weight savings the gains were not that much. Prius must be nearly perfect minimizing the losses of city driving, and there is still room for improvement once Toyota goes to lithium.
  11. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    They reduced the battery capacity and motors as well as reducing the engine size.

    Reduced battery and motor means less ability to assist which will, I expect, mean the engine has to run a little bit earlier and more often.

    The reduced engine size should mean that the engine will be more efficient at the same demand, up to a certain point on the high end after which the larger engine will be at an advantage.

    The c is lighter so it will take less force to move it, until it reaches a certain speed where the increased drag will be more important. (Of course, it's smaller, so it's possible the actual drag is about the same as the liftback.) The lighter weight and smaller engine will mean it's more efficient in the city, but it will lose some gains by having a smaller battery and motor, and the smaller engine being less efficient under any harsh acceleration in the tests, while a combination of worse drag and a smaller engine working harder would combine to make it less efficient at highway speeds, especially during the high-speed acceleration test.

    So, I'm disappointed but not surprised to see the EPA numbers.

    Of course, given that the EPA numbers include some hits from rapid acceleration and high speeds and that the lighter weight and smaller engine give the c some inherent advantages over the Prius you can bet that many people here are chomping at the bit to try it. :D
  12. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    I have to say that I am disappointed as well. I expected more of a mark to be made by the c.

    I was hoping to see the combined a few mpg above the Gen III. I'm sure it will have better sales numbers than the Honda Insight II, but it seems similar to the direction Honda took.

    I am waiting until I see what the Wayne has to say about it later this month until I give my final verdict.
  13. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    At least the specs are closer to the second gen Prius -- perhaps it will be a more capable 100+mpg machine than the third generation is?
  14. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    53mpg isn't a huge step over the prius, but a pretty big deal nonetheless. That's the single highest rating for any gasoline powered vehicle. 13mpg over what's considered to be the new mpg "high".

    This is good for Toyota. I also think that in the right hands, this could potentially do even better than the prius in FTE (full to empty) challenge.
  15. noflash

    noflash Senior Member

    What are the differences between the C and the Yaris Hybrid?

  16. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    The Prius c is actually for sale.
  17. wick1ert

    wick1ert Well-Known Member

    I think we're beginning to see a point of diminishing returns without some major changes in the hybrid's themselves. Don't forget, the price puts it in the sub-20k range, which makes a big difference for a lot of people. I think this will result in it being a better seller than it would be if it had better FE and a higher price point. I see competition for the Elantra/Civic/Sentra/etc types.

    Could they have made it more FE city/hwy/combined? Of course. Would that have increased cost? Absolutely.

    My guess, is that the Gen IV Prius lineup will do even better than the current one. As each of the lineups refresh, they'll probably get those same improvements. But for the cost, that $3-4k or so difference is indeed a deal breaker for a lot of people for the c vs hatch (seriously, can we get a real name for the flagship one??).
  18. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    (How about Prius p, for "Prius" since it's the one that went before the others. :p)

    Well, I might have preferred it with a 1.8L if that would help on the highway, since our miles are mostly at speed, but they're mainly building for the domestic market.
  19. malherbe

    malherbe Well-Known Member

    For the youngest dring members? I'm the oldest, and I want it for me.
  20. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Sean:
    Those are my thoughts exactly. IIRC, the Gen II Prius had an exhaust valve phase control (I really should look this up before misstating the facts) and with the 1.8L in the Gen-III, they are using EGR for control. A mistake imho due to the loss of FE at the limits but that is just me.

    In any case, I suspect this new 1.5L will use EGR like the GEN-III instead of any exhaust valve control and we may find ourselves in the same predicament?

    Size wise, it has all the makings of a smaller Prius v and more importantly, the sightlines out the rear are through a wagon like door, not a split window hatch which should please more first time buyers.

    Given the new 2012 Yaris’ handling acumen, I suspect the new Prius c will handle better than the current Gen-III Prius. The shorter wheelbase will cause more undulation from F to R but it may be a competent handler even for a Toyota full hybrid. Again I am simply speculating.

    And the price. They have not set it exactly although we will probably see an $18,995 to start number. Toyota may be gauging the online journo’s write-ups before setting it in stone. For instance, we will be comparing it to the entire lineup of B-Segment vehicles like the following:

    B-Segment 5-door Competitive Comparison

    YearMakeModelTrimTransmissionHPTorquePassenger Volume (cu. ft.)Cargo Volume (cu. ft.)Turning Diameter (ft)RPM@60 mphCurb WeightEPA city/highway (mpgUS)MSRP (incl. D&H)
    2012HyundaiAccent5-Door SE6-speed MT13812390.121.234.11,9302,58830/40$16,555
    2012ChevroletSonic5-Door 1LT5-speed MT13812590.419.034.52,3842,68426/35$16,660
    2012KiaRio5-Door EX6-speed AT*13812388.615.033.5TBD2,48330-31/40$17,250
    2012HondaFit5-Door Sport5-speed MT11710690.820.634.42,8222,49027/33$17,680
    2012ToyotaYaris5-Door SE5-speed MT10610385.115.636.72,5812,29530/38$17,950
    2012FordFiesta5-Door SES5-speed MT12011285.115.434.42,6502,53729/38$18,295

    2013ToyotaPrius c5-Door “BaseCVT99TBA< 85?Slightly < 15?~ 36?~ 1,400?2,50053/46~ $18,995?

    * Rio 5 EX is not available with a 6-speed MT and currently has $500 on the hood making it even more competitive on a cost basis.​

    Notice the weight of the c vs. the Yaris (slightly > a 200 pound differential) which should make all of us sit up and take notice. Given the system output, I am guessing we will have a 0 to 60 runner of “maybe 11.0 seconds”??? Well off the standard for the segment but given its environmental credentials, the driver attracted to it would probably not be shopping that spec anyway.

    What I am more concerned with is the highway numbers of the c vs. the B-Segment and the Rio in particular. 46 mpgUS vs. 40 mpgUS and for $19K today, you can purchase a 4 or 5-door Rio with absolutely every bell and whistle on the order sheet including Leather, NAVI, Sunroof, Smart Entry, Push Button Start, 17" alloys and with a truly class leading and inspiring design both inside and out. Is it worth sacrificing 15% highway mpg to own a fully loaded car vs. a somewhat stripped one? Stripped is obviously a misnomer given the c would be considered fully loaded a decade ago but today’s B, C and D-segment bar has definitely been raised. This is a mostly highway driver consideration and 15% is probably not enough for the average consumer to give up the toys, finer accommodations and probably performance available from the rest of the B-Segment offerings.

    Pricing against the rest? Add ~ $1K to the MSRP for an AT and you can see the c is actually a lot closer to the B-Segment group than one would have thought. It is simply that the B-Segment is beginning to be discounted so violently that the c will have to go head to head with that.

    Anyone with a mixed, city or heavily trafficked Interstate drive, the c is going to walk away from any of the B-Segment offerings and do so with bravado. Like 85 + mpg on some commutes depending on Toyota’s HSD warm up algorithms (which still suck by the way :(). Expect mid 30’s to low 70’s at best with any of the rest (with MT's for the higher numbers) and that is pushing them to their maximum limits! Something the c should do without even trying :)

    Reliability will surely go to the c against any of the B-Segment simply because it is HSD and it is a Toyota.

    There are so many great new fuel efficient cars to consider for prices that make sense and the c is yet another to add to the docket. I am hoping for the return of the big numbers like we had available to us with the 04 - 09 gen-II Prius and its 1.5L but it all depends on what Toyota did for emissions, warm-up and what that smallish pack will and will not allow. Meaning is the output V boosted like the rest of the Toyota/Lexus HSD lineup or is it just 144V to a smaller MG2? If so, I doubt all electric ops will be very efficient? There is simply too much speculation on my part and the Toyota reps and engineers on the show floor were not able to release the details until they are allowed to later this month.

    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012

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