More than a Prius and set to bolster a new family...
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- May 18, 2011
Half Moon Bay, CA -- Toyota’s commitment to an ever expanding “Best in Class” fuel efficient lineup is again living up to the definition of Prius -- "to go before" -- that characterizes not just the Prius hatch we all know today but the entire upcoming Prius family we will come to know in the near future.
Thanks to over 20 years of commitment to the environment through hybrid technology research and development and now with over 1-million Prius' sold within the United States, Toyota is continuing its dominance of the truly “green” automotive marketplace with the imminent launch of the all-new Prius v.
Remembering back to the first generation Prius US launch in late 2000, auto critics the world over were skeptical that a new small car with advanced technology never before released into the consumer marketplace was going to do anything but flop. After all, gas was less than $1.00 and the Hummer H2 was receiving all the “press” as meeting the needs of the average "American" consumer... So I exaggerated a bit but that monstrosity was receiving press
In its original form, the diminutive Prius hybrid sedan sat on top of the US EPA’s sedan based fuel economy list and sold in numbers that were uninspiring. All that was about to change beginning in late 2003 with the launch of the much more refined, larger, more powerful, eye-catching and at the time, 55-mpg combined (46-mpg combined under the new 08 EPA ratings) second generation Prius.
In mid 2009, a new third generation Prius arrived with even more cargo capacity, improved safety, new features and yet another increase in its fuel economy rating.
With fuel prices rising in an almost stair step fashion through the first decade of the 21st century, the once maligned Prius and its hybrid drivetrain is now considered one of the most practical and reliable vehicles on the road today. Providing its owners a level of fuel economy that makes the weekly fill up almost painless even with gasoline costing over $4.00 per gallon in many parts of the country today, is it any wonder why competitors are scrambling to release their own hybrids that even after a decade or more of development cannot touch the fuel efficiency of the "Gold Standard" Prius?
The new Prius family begins with v
On the morning of the Prius v long lead press launch, the Prius v is making its presence known as the first wave of journalists are being teased with talk of a new suspension and engine control technology rumored to be called “Pitch and Bounce” control. The new technology supposedly entails a harmonization of the engine and suspension together to remove some amount of NVH to a level considered impossible in a vehicle of its size and fuel efficiency. We will have more detail on its actual capabilities later today.
“We believe the Prius v will reach a more ‘family’ oriented buyer than the current generation Prius since those owners needs are already met,” said Doug Coleman, Toyota Prius Product Manager at Toyota Motor Sales. “The Prius v is an all-new hybrid vehicle with a completely new buyer in mind.”
The Prius v will be one of the first Toyotas incorporating the brands new Entune multimedia system that in concert with your Smartphone is said to provide wireless upgradeable navigation, entertainment and information services. In addition, the system features a “Best in Class” advanced conversational voice recognition system that eliminates the need to memorize thousands of voice commands and reduces driver distraction.
The Prius v provides more than 50 percent additional interior cargo space than the current third generation Prius and does so with sliding second row seats, unique storage flexibility and a 45-degree recline capability for greater comfort. The 60/40 split, folding rear seats can be configured into four different seating arrangements that provide more utility than any competitors offering while an all-new fold-flat front-passenger seat allows for extremely long cargo to be stowed onboard and out of the elements.
The all-new 2012 Prius v is expected to go on sale later this fall with more details forthcoming as the day(s) and weeks progress.