January 10, 2012
• Highest rated city fuel economy of any vehicle without a plug
• Introduces proven hybrid powertrain at MSRP below $19,000
• Wide array of available convenience and premium technology
DETROIT, Michigan, Jan.10, 2012 – Following the U.S. debut of the all-new 2012 Prius c at the 2012 North American International Auto Show here, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., plans to bring this dynamically styled, five-door hatchback to market in March of 2012, and introduce Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive to the subcompact segment.
The letter “c” represents “city” in the Prius c name. Designed to function as an urban-friendly vehicle with an engaging driving experience, hatchback utility, and a city fuel economy rating of 53 mpg, Prius c offers the highest city mpg rating of any vehicle without a plug. The all-new Prius c joins the Prius Family, which includes the third generation Prius Liftback, the versatile new Prius v and the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, which will debut in early 2012.
Beginning with the first generation fourteen years ago, over two million Prius units have been sold worldwide. Prius remains the world’s premier eco-vehicle brand, and has made great strides establishing consumer trust in hybrid technology. With Prius c, Toyota will make the market’s most proven hybrid technology available to subcompact car shoppers with a starting MSRP below $19,000.
Unique Place in the Prius Family
A gateway product into the Prius Family, the new Prius c will find favor with younger shoppers seeking a smartly designed, fuel-efficient subcompact car packing advanced drivetrain and in-car technology. The Prius c will offer engaging driving dynamics with superior urban maneuverability. When the 2012 Prius c arrives in showrooms this spring, the all-new hatchback will offer:
The highest rated city fuel economy estimate of any vehicle without a plug*; 53 mpg in the city, and 46 mpg on the highway, for a combined rating of 50 mpg.
The most accessible Prius will feature a starting MSRP below $19,000 with proven hybrid powertrain and premium technology.
The scale of the all-new Prius c becomes apparentwhen compared to the familiar proportions of the midsize Prius Liftback. The Prius c is smaller and lighter than its midsize Prius stable mate with 19.1 inches less length (157.3 vs. 176.4 inches OAL) and 542 lbs. less weight than the Prius Liftback (2,500 vs. 3,042 lbs.). In adapting the Hybrid Synergy Drive to the smaller Prius c platform, each of the system’s major components were re-designed to reduce weight, scale, and improve efficiency.
The Prius c’s effective packaging design strategically locates key drivetrain components within the chassis to help optimize interior space and handling. The compact gasoline engine, transaxle and power-control unit are optimally placed within the vehicle to help enhance weight distribution and lower the center of gravity. In addition, the hybrid battery and fuel tank are positioned together beneath the rear seat, ideally distributing their mass within the wheelbase to improve weight distribution to help enhance handling. By locating the battery and fuel tank below the rear seat, the Prius c is able to offer 104 cu. ft. of interior volume (87.4 cu. ft. passenger volume, 17.1 cu. ft. cargo volume).
Prius c Hybrid Synergy Drive Propulsion
The Prius c’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system integrates the operation of components that include a gasoline engine, an electric motor within a Continuously Variable Transaxle, a nickel-metal hydride battery, a power control unit (inverter), a DC-DC converter, a step-up converter and a hybrid control computer. The hybrid control computer governs the seamless application of gasoline engine and electric power depending on driving demands and selected drive mode.
The Prius c relies on a SULEV (Tier 2 Bin 3) rated 1.5-liter in-line, four-cylinder gasoline engine that utilizes an Atkinson cycle to increase efficiency. This engine produces 73 horsepower and 82 lb.-ft. of torque, contributing to a total hybrid system output of 99 hp.
The Prius c’s hybrid system utilizes a 144-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack that has been located under the rear passenger seat, near the center of the vehicle, and low in the chassis to help improve the center of gravity.
Prius c offers three distinct drive modes: Normal, Eco, and EV mode. Eco mode reduces overall energy consumption by governing climate control and throttle to improve vehicle efficiency. Under certain conditions, the EV mode allows the Prius c to be driven solely by electric power for a short distance (under 1 mile) while remaining below 25 mph.
* 2012 EPA 53/46/50 city/highway/combined mpg estimates. Actual mileage will vary.
Source: Toyota Motor Corporation