In 1997 Toyota released its hybrid model known as the Prius in Japan. It was then released to the rest of the world in the year 2000 and hit the 1 million vehicle sales mark in 2011 making it the most mass produced and popular hybrid vehicle in the world. Toyota now has plans to release a fourth generation model of its beloved hybrid with an eye on new technology and a more sporty design.

 

Toyota New Global Architecture

Toyota’s design chief has mentioned some of these changes such as a lower center of gravity giving the vehicle better cornering and more stylish looks but the real changes are under the hood. The new engine for the Prius will be 40% efficient compared to its current 38.5%. The nickel-metal-hydride batteries will be replaced with the newest in lithium-ion technology. All of this under the watchful eye of T.N.G.A. (Toyota New Global Architecture) which is Toyota’s new plan to make more common elements between the different car models they offer. With this, Toyota will effectively cut its engineering time and costs while increasing manufacturing flexibility. It was not stated whether the new Prius would be the first TNGA project available to the public or if it will be one of many models set to release in just over a year.

 

What’s the Latin word for “game-changer”?

The word “Prius” is Latin for “before” which is quite appropriate because of its release before the mainstream concern of fuel consumption and environmental impact. This little car has paved the way for many that have come after it such as hybrid models from Ford, Hyundai, and Honda. While the Prius still remains unpopular among true car enthusiasts you cannot deny that it is one of the few vehicles that has effectively changed the face of the modern-day car market, causing other companies to design their own hybrids. The proof of this is the fact that when the Prius was released it was the only hybrid option to the world and now we have over 40 different models from many automakers. Toyota has also stated that it will continue to push its hybrid and plug-in dreams into the future of the global car market, which gives us all something to look forward to.

Related:   Top 10 Green Cars of 2011

 

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