In launching the Toyota Prius, Asco Motors brings in a new era in motoring in Fiji, as we embrace the global green car phenomenon. The Toyota Prius is a full hybrid electric vehicle, developed and manufactured in 1997 by the Toyota Motor Corporation. Originally developed as a sedan, it is now in its 3rd Generation.
The Prius first went on sale in Japan in 1997, making it the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle and was subsequently introduced worldwide in 2000. The Prius is sold in more than 70 countries, with Japan being the largest market closely followed by the United States. In May 2008, global cumulative Prius sales reached the milestone 1 million vehicle mark.
National Sales Manager Seiji Tokito says, "the Toyota Prius has grown so much in sales volume globally after just in the market for just 15 years. It's such a great car, in terms of fuel cost saving and maintenance. We are pleased to be able to introduce this vehicle in Fiji"
In 2011, Toyota expanded the Prius family to include the V, an extended hatchback wagon, and the Prius C, a subcompact hatchback. The production version of the Prius plug-in hybrid was released in 2012. The Prius family reached global cumulative sales of 2.87 million units through April 2012, representing 71.8 per cent of Toyota Motor Company hybrid sales of 4 million Lexus and Toyota units sold worldwide since 1997.
The Prius was the most efficient car powered by liquid fuel available in the U.S. in 2009. The 2011 3rd Generation Toyota Prius, has a new aerodynamic body design and an underbody rear fin helps stabilize the vehicle at higher speeds. It has a 1.8-liter 4 cylinder engine which generates 80 hp, and with the added power of the electric motor generates a total of 134 hp. The larger engine displacement allows for increased torque, reducing engine speeds (RPM), which improves fuel economy at highway speeds. Thanks to its electric water pump, the Prius engine is the first consumer automotive production engine that requires no accessory belts, which also further improves its fuel economy. The electric motors and other components of the hybrid power-train are also smaller and more efficient than the industry average.
Tokito adds "It displays fuel consumption for the preceding 30 minutes in 5 minute increments". In constructing the Prius, Toyota used a new range of plant-derived ecological bioplastics, made out of cellulose derived from wood or grass. The two principal crops used are kenaf and ramie. Kenaf is a member of the hibiscus family, a relative to cotton and okra; ramie, is a member of the nettle family and one of the strongest natural fibres, with a density and absorbency comparable to flax.
The Toyota Prius emits 25 per cent - 30 per cent less CO2 than that of an equivalent petrol car over its whole life cycle. Only 2 per cent of the Prius' CO2 emissions come from the actual burning of fuel compared to 80 per cent of that of a normal car.
The Prius is a power-split or series-parallel (full) hybrid, sometimes referred to as a combined hybrid, a vehicle that can be propelled by fuel and/or electric power. Wind resistance is reduced by a drag coefficient of 0.25 with a Kammback design to reduce air resistance. Lower rolling-resistance tires are used to reduce road friction. An electric water pump eliminates serpentine belts.
As the Prius reached ten years of being available in the U.S. market, in February 2011 Consumer Reports, (a magazine published by the US Consumer Unions, a non-profit organisation with a mission to test products, inform the public and protect customers), decided to look at the lifetime of the Prius battery. The magazine tested a total of 2002 Toyota Prius with over 200,000 miles on it, and compared the results to the nearly identical 2001 Prius with 2,000 miles tested by Consumer Reports 10 years before. The comparison showed little difference in performance when tested for fuel economy and acceleration.
The magazine concluded that the effectiveness of the battery has not degraded over the long run. To test drive a Toyota Prius, contact the Suva branch Sales Team on 338 4888 today.