New Details on the Next-Generation Prius Emerge
We've been waiting to hear news on the fourth-generation Toyota Prius, and the executives have finally released some information. It looks like engineers will build it with a more powerful and lightweight lithium ion battery, as well as a new, hyper-efficient gasoline engine. Along with technology upgrades, the new Prius will be based on Toyota's new modular platform, the Toyota new Global Architecture, but it's unclear whether the Prius will be the first model or among the first models to be built on the new platform. "When we look at the next-generation Prius, we will have a new type of hybrid system. We will make it even smaller, lighter and less expensive. That will strengthen its commercial attractiveness," said Soichiro Okudaira, chief of Toyota's R&D group, at this month's Automotive World technical conference.Toyota is still debating whether or not they want to use the lithium ion batteries as they cost a good deal more than the nickel-metal hydride batteries. One solution would be to differentiate in the lineup the models that use the different batteries. For the new Prius, Toyota is mainly focused on fuel economy, but cost has come in at a close second. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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