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New Toyota Prius brings big economy. Image by Toyota.

New Toyota Prius brings big economy
Toyota unveils its third generation Prius in Motor City.
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Newer articles featuring 2009 Toyota Prius

2009-12-23: Week at the Wheel: Toyota Prius
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Back in 1997 nobody could have predicted the impact of the Toyota Prius. Only 12,000 units a year were anticipated to be sold, but the tremendous success of the first widely available hybrid has seen Toyota sell over one million Prius since it was introduced. The US market has been key to its success and the huge attendance at Toyota's press conference today in Detroit underlined how important the Prius has become.

Completely restyled, with 90% of its drivetrain new, the third generation Prius is more economical than ever. Toyota claims an estimated 50 US mpg - or around 60mpg in UK units. That's about 10% better than the outgoing model. Due on sale in the US mid 2009 UK sales will follow shortly after. Toyota is predicting sales of around 400,000 in its first full year of production. Helping achieve those huge numbers will be Toyota's expansion into more markets, the Japanese firm nearly doubling the countries the Prius sells in from 44 to 80 in the next few years.

The shape remains familiar, but Toyota's designers have moved the roof high point back to increase passenger space. Boasting a drag coefficient of just 0.25, lightweight and optional technology - like a solar sunroof that keeps the interior cool - all help the Prius achieve its high average economy. Combined, the net output of the 1.8-litre petrol engine and electric hybrid module is 134bhp, the Prius now able to reach 60mph in 9.8 seconds. Heralded as the most fuel efficient car on sale in the US the Prius unveiling created a big stir in Motown. The Prius is no longer seen as a car bought by early adopters but by general consumers. Underlining this, Toyota committed in its presentation at the Detroit show to have a hybrid model of all its US cars available to customers by 2020.

Kyle Fortune - 12 Jan 2009

2009 Toyota Prius. Image by Toyota.2009 Toyota Prius. Image by Toyota.2009 Toyota Prius. Image by Toyota.2009 Toyota Prius. Image by Toyota.2009 Toyota Prius. Image by Toyota.

2009 Toyota Prius. Image by Toyota.2009 Toyota Prius. Image by Toyota.2009 Toyota Prius. Image by Toyota.2009 Toyota Prius. Image by Toyota.2009 Toyota Prius. Image by Toyota.    - Toyota road tests
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