2010 Toyota Prius – Preview

March 26, 2009

(ChattahBox) — A quick look at new 2010 Prius, which is the third-generation of the groundbreaking gas-electric hybrid. After 5 1/2 years of the current design, Toyota is bringing out an all-new Prius, but it still looks pretty much the same. The next-generation Prius due in dealer showrooms in late May car, is more refined however. It will come with a bigger engine, improved fuel economy, Better ergonomic layout and solar-powered cabin cooling.

The Prius gets several aerodynamic and engineering changes that elevate it to EPA ratings of 51 mpg in the city, 48 mpg on the highway and 50 mpg in combined driving. This is 4 mpg better in combined driving and a 3 mpg better in both city and highway driving.

The Prius contains a 2ZR-FXE 1.8-liter DOHC 16-valve VVT-I four-cylinder engine, which delivers a total of 98 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque. When combined with the hybrid system, total output is 134 horsepower, which is a 24 horsepower increase over the previous model.

There are three additional driving modes, you can select EV, Eco and Power modes, depending on your driving situation,  Lead foots will benefit from Eco mode, which helps improve fuel economy through throttle control.  While power mode increases throttle response, allowing for better acceleration in the middle rpm range.  EV-mode, which lets you drive up to 25 miles an hour for about a mile on electric-only power. This new generation will also accommodate the plug-in Prius coming to fleets later this year, which will go up to 12.5 miles on batteries alone.

You can also load it up with other options, from a solar roof panel that helps cool the car when parked, to accident avoidance systems. No prices have been announced, but a Prius with everything will probably be over $30,000.

One optional feature is an automatic parking system first seen on a high-end Lexus model.

You can also add a radar based adaptive cruise control. When the car ahead starts to slow down the system will brake the Prius to keep a constant distance between you and traffic, but at some point the system throws up its hands, beeps loadly at you, and tells you to take over—at which point you better be wide awake.

What it won’t have is the innovative “fuel bladder.”  Toyota decided to ditch the bladder in part because some Prius owners complained that it held less fuel than the 11.9-gallon capacity claimed in the car’s owners manual, potentially taking a big bite out of the car’s range between fill-ups. Instead it will use a rigid tank made of a lightweight resin rather than the collapsible bladder.

2010 Toyota Prius

On Sale: Late spring

Base Price: TBA

Drivetrain: 1.8-liter, 98-hp, 105-lb-ft I4; 80-hp (60 kW), 153-lb-ft (207 Nm) motor generator; 136-hp total system output; FWD, CVT

Curb Weight: 3,042 pounds

0-60 mph: 9.8 seconds (mfr.)

Fuel Economy (EPA): 50 mpg EPA Combined


One Response to “2010 Toyota Prius – Preview”

  1. Imee on March 27th, 2009 4:43 am

    I’ve seen lots of reviews of the Prius, and my own review for it is pretty positive as well. So the 2010 model is quite exciting for me and I can’t wait for it to come out, since the Prius is a car I’ve highly considered investing in.

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