Toyota showcases new Prius Hybrid with improved power, range and style

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota’s new gas-electric Prius hybrid isn’t just about power, acceleration and range. It’s also more stylish, ditching its rather stocky and angular body for a sleek, futuristic look.

Simon Humphries, senior general manager of Global Toyota Design, who unveiled the car in Tokyo on Wednesday, continues to ask how long the Japanese automaker will stick with hybrids in an industry that is rapidly electrifying. He stressed that the company had yet to respond to skeptics.

“Because the Prius is a familiar eco-car. To achieve carbon neutrality, everyone in the world must participate. We need a plan, we have to start today, not tomorrow,” he told reporters.

According to Toyota Motor Corporation, the fifth-generation Prius hybrid model will go on sale this winter, first in Japan and then in the United States. A plug-in version will hit the market next year. Pricing has not been announced.

The automaker replaced its old nickel-metal hydride batteries with smaller, lighter lithium-ion batteries. The result is nearly double the horsepower, faster acceleration and 50% more range.

Introduced in 1997, the Prius alternated between a petrol engine and an electric motor for a cleaner ride than a normal internal combustion engine model.

Electric vehicles are zero-emissions, but they do require charging. Some consumers worry about running out of juice on the street. Hybrids always have a petrol engine as a backup.

To date, Toyota has sold more than 20.3 million hybrid vehicles worldwide, including the Prius. Prius, Latin for “pioneer” or “first,” defines Toyota as much as a brand as Lexus luxury models.

Still, while Toyota is sometimes criticized by environmentalists for not stepping into electrification, some analysts say other automakers also have few electric vehicles in their lineups, and many others. I’d say that’s a little unfair, given that the manufacturer is developing various hybrid models.

“Rising sales of hybrid vehicles, including the Prius, will drag us further into the climate crisis,” said Daniel Reid of Greenpeace East Asia, based in Tokyo.

Reed said electric vehicles and fuel cell models are better solutions to climate change than hybrids.

According to Humphries, the new Prius has a lower center of gravity, larger tires, curvilinear lines in the overall design and a flashier interior for a more stable style.

He said it was more an expression of love than a commodity. Hybrid He added that building cabs or offering them to other manufacturers could also be a step toward popularizing the technology, both of which Toyota opposed.

“We were convinced that the next step for the Prius would be to become a ‘no-compromise car’ in order to increase its appeal to customers,” Humphries said. “We chose love.” I stood in front of a screen on which words were scattered.

Stephanie Brinley, Principal Automotive Analyst at S&P Global Mobility, said the Prius, with its improved style and efficiency, will be more competitive not only with other hybrid models, but also with available generations of fully electric vehicles. says it can.

Prius models have always served as a sort of bridge to an era of more charging stations for EVs, Brinley said, adding that the new Prius is better suited to hybrids and plug-ins from Hyundai, Kia, Ford and Jeep. I believe that

A 50% increase in battery range equals approximately 38 miles (61 kilometers), enough distance to cover the average US driver’s commute and around-town errands. The hybrid he powertrain will allow road trips without worrying that the charging network is not yet complete, Brinley said.

“It’s going to make you really confident to drive,” she said.


Krisher reported from Detroit.


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