electric cars, hybrids, Motoring News, new models, toyota

Two decades on, Toyota US brings anniversary Prius hybrid

PLANO, Texas- Twenty years ago (really, THAT long ago! – Editor) technology took a leap as a small and unassuming family vehicle very quietly rolled into US Toyota showrooms.

The car will be launched on May 18 2020.

The 2001 Toyota Prius, the world’s first production hybrid car, had arrived and would go on to profoundly change the trajectory of automotive propulsion.

PRIUS ANNIVERSARY: Image: Supplied

Since then Toyota has delivered more than six-million Prius units worldwide and more than 3.6-million hybrids (including Lexus) in the United States.

Prius sales in the US reached 1.9-million through 2019 and the model name, its maker says, ”became synonymous with hybrid technology” (though the first Prius went into production for Japan in 1997.)

All of that is worth commemorating, so…

PRIUS ANNIVERSARY: Image: Supplied

Toyota US is assembling two thousand and twenty Prius 2020 Edition units for model year 2021 based on the well-equipped XLE front-wheel, red- or pearl-finished, units with black exterior trim and unique features – one of them a colour-matched rear spoiler.

READ MORE Toyota features on Carman’s Corner

There are also 17” alloy wheel-rims, blackout headlight components and trim, B-pillars and external mirror housings. Each will also have a 2020 Edition insignia key fob and cabin mats, black shift-knob, and interior A-pillar trim, and smoked aircon vents.

”The overall look,” Toyota US says, ”is simultaneously sporty and elegant – but with a touch of mischief! – though there’s nothing mischievous about a car rated as capable of five litres/100km

PRIUS ANNIVERSARY: Image: Supplied

The new American Prius also has…

• Pre-Collision system with low-light pedestrian detection
• Radar cruise control
• Cyclist detection
• Lane-keeping
• Auto high-beam
• Roadsign recognition
• Blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alert

PRIUS ANNIVERSARY: Image: Supplied

The Prius is one of 10 Toyota US hybrids and one of 11 battery vehicles with Mirai, and a hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle for 2021. Others include the first Corolla, Camry, RAV4, Avalon, and Highlander.

The Prius has an ”ultra-low” 0.24 drag coefficient, and an automatic grille shutter for when the radiator for the the 1.8-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine is not needed.

Drive is through a continuously variable transmission.

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