Toyota Prius, more than one million units sold
In 1997, when Toyota began marketing the Prius hybrid engine (gasoline-electric), has roughly everybody talked that this car would create a significant financial gap in the portfolio, already well stocked manufacturer Nippon.
A builder who knows where it goes
They could be right, but the obstinacy of Toyota engineers, the economic climate that was favorable to them, increases in prices of black gold, especially universal regulations on environmental protection have favoures the hatching of these types of vehicles. Moreover, the year they pass cumulerent total sales of more than one million units of all brands.
And here is that at the end of last April, the Toyota Prius reached, by itself, the milestone of 1 028.000 units sold, distributed in forty countries around the world. Of these, it is important to note that sales of the first generation Toyota Prius totaled only 100,000 units around the world between 1997 and 2002. In 2007, he has elapsed more than 280,000 Prius worldwide, and the data in the first four months of 2008 are state of 107,000 cars sold, enough to rage all other manufacturers who accuse a considerable delay in the matter, especially since the time when everything seems to those who want to succeed take care of our planet ...
The adventure began in 1992
The first generation Toyota Prius was unveiled to the Japanese in 1997, after spending thousands of laboratory tests, following a decision taken this in 1992, to develop a concept vehicle has both economic and environmentally sound without sacrificing radically habits of motorists. This four-door sedan style very classic, had a four-cylinder atmospheric 58 horsepower, coupled to a 40 horsepower electric motor. This generation Toyota Prius was first sold only in Japan between 1997 and 2001. From 2002, it began to export this last outside Japan, particularly in North American soil. The exported version enjoyed a POINTED atmospheric engine, whose power increased from 58 to 70 horsepower, while the electric motor won four horses.
The original concept of the hybrid engine THS (Toyota Hybrid System) is now well known, that the passage between the atmospheric and electric motors, without forgetting that directed to the generatrix is managed by an electronic control system. Furthermore, it optimizes the contribution of regenerative braking system. Employed the batteries are nickel-metal hydride type (Ni-MH). The use of a continuously variable transmission (CVT) system and a 'stop and start', which allows the gas engine to turn off when the car is stopped and resume life instantly when you weigh on the pedal of acceleration, just complement everything. The hybrid system (THS) uses a relatively less sophisticated technology compared to that which is offered on the Prius II.
This will become an icon
Then comes the 2nd generation Prius in 2003. This is the last we know the most, the one through whom sales began to climb to dizzying way and today has already already regarded as an icon of large contemporary history of the automobile.
If the first Toyota Prius had an almost repulsive silhouette, this newcomer to the more generous dimensions, presents a very modern style hatchback, whose silhouette possesses all the attributes to meet the diverse tastes of motorists, they are Europeans, Asian, North American or other ... Its extremely inclined windscreen, contributes significantly to the coefficient of penetration in the air of this car, which is only 0.26 Cx.
Its four-cylinder 1.5-liter engine sees its power increase to 76 horsepower, while the electric motor is now issuing 67 horses for a total delivree power to the wheels with 110 horses. The same type of batteries than the previous generation are used.
Unlike the first generation that used the hybrid system THS, the new Prius is rather trust has a much more developed called 'Hybrid Synergy Drive' technology. Although the basic principle remains essentially the same, the new hybrid system has the particularity to enable the latter to offer performance and especially an almost equivalent behavior to those offered by traditional cars. In addition, the Prius ad absolutely impressive economy and respect for the environment that reference today, and that is saying something.
A sporty Prius
2004 Paris Motor Show, Toyota is permitted to present a sporty version called the Prius GT. This exercise would demonstrate that it was possible to create some excitement, finding himself in command of a hybrid car. To do this, we have increased the powers of two engines, or 99 horses for the petrol engine and a 82 horsepower electric motor for. The media coverage of this last, really does not advance the cause of this technology at the time.
Everything indicates that the latter should normally be disclosed in the next Auto Show in Detroit, for marketing planned for the spring. It would retain its present form, would inherit some dimensions slightly heightened, especially for a stronger and more powerful engine without diminish its attributes sedan economic and ecological.
Toyota has absolutely not abandon his research on the subject, on the contrary, except that the use of such batteries, more likely to end up under the hood of vehicles Lexus brand well before that of the popular Toyota Prius.
A range of Prius vehicles
The unveiling of the vehicle Hybrid-X concept at Geneva in 2007 we did discover that the future of the Toyota Prius, could pass by unveiling a range of vehicles fully developed around what will become the 3rd generation of this car out common. In fact, everything indicates that wagon and even compact crossover-type, could emerge by at most three years.
Other hybrids come
Toyota also dream to produce at least one version of each of its various product lines, using a hybrid powertrain. Toyota 1 / X Concept presented at Tokyo Motor Show, demonstrates the seriousness that this door manufacturer in the development of a new generation of so-called rechargeable batteries that would allow vehicles to offer a much superior economy and autonomy that we say impressive. In addition, this concept announces the development of at least one vehicle subcompact or compact size, equipped with a hybrid powertrain. Finally, Toyota expects to sell more than one million hybrid vehicles around the world starting in 2010 and increasing the number of vehicles using the very ecological approach.
In closing, I almost forgot to tell you that the Prius name means: Moving Forward ...
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