Filed under: Spy Photos , Hybrid , Hatchback , Toyota Toyota has built itself into the industry’s standard-bearer when it comes to hybrids, and it isn’t going to let the poster child for gas-electric vehicles get stale on the market. These spy shots captured in California are our first good look at the next-generation Prius , which could come to market wearing a 2015 model year designation. Even though it looks like Toyota may have blown its annual camouflage budget on this mule, we can clearly see that it will have the same iconic half-moon design that has been with the car since 2003. If so, this goes against reports from last year that suggested the car would be getting a different look inspired by the 2013 NS4 Concept . Although, this could also indicate that the Prius family will continue to grow – adding a new sedan – to the existing Prius C , Prius V and Prius Plug-In lineup. These spy shots also give us an indication as to what the interior will look like, with a more stylish three-spoke steering wheel and an instrument panel design that sort of reminds us of a BMW . On the other hand, all the tape, cobbled together pieces and lack of space for a center stack display screen has us thinking this isn’t what the final product will resemble. As for what will be powering the 2015 Prius, we hear that updated versions of the current electric system and engine will be employed, but it will carry over the nickel metal hydride batteries found in today’s model. Still no word on the rumored possibility of all-wheel-drive system, either. In addition to a new design and updated powertrain, it sounds like production of the next-generation Prius could be making a move to the US, joining the line at Toyota’s Tupelo, MS plant.
Toyota’s Prius and Highlander Hybrid Earn U.S. News and World Report’s Best Cars for Families Awards
TORRANCE, Calif., March 12, 2013 – The Toyota Prius and Highlander Hybrid have garnered category honors as part of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Cars for Families awards . The 2013 Toyota Prius took top honors in the Best Hatchback for Families category, while the 2013 Highlander Hybrid won the Best Hybrid SUV for Families award for the third year in a row.
TORRANCE, Calif., February 4, 2013 – The Toyota Prius Liftback, the best-selling hybrid vehicle in America and the world, offers a Special Edition model for 2013 that combines an exciting exterior color with eco-friendly seating and interior trim.
Filed under: Hybrid , Hatchback , Toyota The National Insurance Crime Bureau has taken a closer look at how often car thieves target the Toyota Prius . As it turns out, the most popular hybrid on US roads has a very low theft rate, and when it does get stolen, law enforcement are quick to return the machine to its rightful owners. All told, 2008-2012 Prius models saw a theft rate of one in 606 vehicles compared to one in 78 for all models on the road from the same model year period. Just 2,439 Prius hybrids were stolen in the US between September 4, 2000 and June 30, 2012. Not surprisingly, California holds the dubious honor of taking the lion’s share of those thefts, with 1,062. Florida took second place with 127, followed by New York, Washington and Texas. Toyota has sold 1.2 million Prius models in the US, which means the vehicle constitutes more than half of all hybrid vehicles on the road today. You can take a look at the full NICB press release below for more information. Continue reading Car thieves avoiding Toyota Prius Car thieves avoiding Toyota Prius originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Nov 2012 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Hybrid , Hatchback , Toyota , Design/Style Love it or hate it, the Toyota Prius might be the most recognizable car on the road these days with its slippery, wedge-like design. Originally used to optimize aerodynamics, the unique shape of the second-generation Prius quickly made the car an icon, so Toyota kept the same basic look on the latest, third-gen model. According to an interview with Chris Hostetter, group vice president for strategic planning of Toyota Motor Sales USA, in Bloomberg , Toyota might be looking to alter the Prius’ signature shape in the name of increasing sales across the model’s lineup. It sounds like a replacement for the current model is still at least a year away, but the next design could be a stark departure from the Prius we know today. While there is no indication as to what direction Toyota could take, the report does rehash the Toyota NS4 Concept sedan that was displayed earlier this year in Detroit . Whatever it looks like, the next Prius will certainly be tasked with not only keeping existing hybrid customers interested but also drawing in new ones as well. Since growing the Prius to include the Plug-In , C and V , sales have almost doubled this year with 200,114 Prius-branded cars sold in the US through October. Bloomberg says that on a global scale, the four models accounted for almost 700,000 units through September eclipsing the previous Prius record of 509,399 units sold back in 2010. With Toyota expecting the Prius to be its top-selling car by the end of the decade, this recent trend could easily continue upward for the with a more mainstream design. Toyota looking to alter Prius styling originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 05 Nov 2012 14:30:00 EST.
Filed under: Hybrid , Safety , Technology , Toyota , Fisker , Electric , Luxury Can Hurricane Sandy’s flood waters be blamed for the fiery destruction of 16 Fisker Karmas and a Toyota Prius ? On Halloween we guessed saltwater had somehow led to a short circuit that overheated the cars’ batteries and fire, which may be exactly what happened. “We can’t be certain exactly what happened at the port,” Russell Datz, a Fisker spokesman, tells the New York Times Wheels blog. “But we think being submerged in 13 feet of saltwater had something to do with it.” Toyota spokeswoman Cindy Knight tells Wheels that the Prius likely went pyro because “saltwater got into the electrical system.” Saltwater, as you probably know, is highly conductive and when it comes into contact with something like an electric car’s battery, could cause a short circuit and a fire. Daniel Abraham, chemical scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, gave the blog a more technical explanation. Salts in the water break into positive and negative ions that act as conductors and could have connected the batteries’ positive and negative terminals. Next came a short circuit and then, possibly, a fire. No one so far thinks the Karma batteries’ lithium cores were to blame. Even though lithium will burn on contact with water, the metal used in hybrid batteries is pretty well protected and isn’t likely the source of the fires. So still no official cause of the fires, but an investigation is ongoing.
Filed under: Hybrid , Government/Legal , Technology , Videos , Hatchback , Toyota It’s election time and auto bailouts are not the only thing politicians are talking about. Down in Florida, one group has connected a candidate’s support for automated car testing to, well, nothing. And that makes him evil. The Committee to Protect Florida has taken Rep. Jeff Brandes (R-Fla.) to task for proving automated cars did not operate by “witchcraft” instead of working on other things in the St. Petersburg area. The commercial attempts to instill fear in the program and make it sound like these machines are running amok on Florida’s streets. (Note the sound effects at the end of the video.) The attack ad features a Toyota Prius running a stop sign and nearly hitting an older woman using a walker as the narrator goes on about how silly these newfangled machines might be. Then the commercial flashes the question, “Will Driverless cars REALLY stop for pedestrians?” Maybe. And if they don’t, everyone should blame Jeff Brandes.
Filed under: Hybrid , Videos , Hatchback , Toyota , Humor Let’s make this clear from the get-go: we know this is satire, courtesy of The Onion . Of course, like all good comedy, the idea for the new, fictional Toyota Prius Solution model contains a grain of truth. After all, if you aren’t alive, you really can’t add to the world’s environmental problems any more. Any questions? Obviously a riff on the whole “Pious” side of the Prius-driver stereotype as well as taking blind environmentalism to its logical extreme, the Prius Solution manages to put a bloody twist on the Prius “family” branding that the automaker has been promoting since early 2010. It’s kind of gross, so you’ve been warned. That said, anyone who’s been punctured backbone-to-sternum also can’t work to solve world’s environmental problems, but that’s a discussion for another time. Enough talk. Check out the video below . Continue reading Toyota Prius Solution: When you’re dead, you can’t pollute Toyota Prius Solution: When you’re dead, you can’t pollute originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 03 Aug 2012 20:01:00 EST.
Filed under: Car Buying , BMW , Honda , Lexus , Mercedes-Benz , Toyota , Volkswagen , Luxury Perhaps the most frustrating thing about being mired in the 99% is that due to the prevalence of reality-distorting TV and the booming personal security business, we really have no idea what it’s like to be Mitt Romney , Donald Trump or one of the Koch brothers. At least in the olden days, we plebs could point and stare, mouths agape as the robber barons rode through city streets in their jewel-encrusted carriages. But today? Good luck catching a glimpse of Trump’s platinum-dipped Maybach or the plutonium-burning hovercrafts that the Koch’s use to fly to their secret Tea Party Illuminati meetings. What’s that? Rich people buy their cars at dealerships just like we do? Yep, and according to a new study from TrueCar , Mr. and Mrs. Moneybags don’t go in for luxury models nearly as completely as you’d think. TrueCar has released a list of the top 10 most popular cars in the wealthiest zip codes in the U.S.