Toyota Prius Living Legend Hybrid Car

Toyota Prius Living Legend Hybrid Car – People will not be able to eliminate the big-name Toyota Prius from the history of hybrid technology in the world. Because Prius is one of the pioneers and witnesses of the development of hybrid technology in vehicles during the transition to fully electric cars. This is Toyota’s wise move before actually turning ICE into a full-fledged EV.

Toyota Prius Living Legend Hybrid Car

We can look back occasionally to understand the initial condition of this Japanese car. If you look at its history, Toyota began to develop the Prius with hybrid technology in the 90s. It is not easy for Toyota, because the presence of the Prius that carries hybrid technology has received scorn from manufacturers, especially vehicle users. This is clear because cars with pure internal combustion engines still dominate every line of life. Almost the word hybrid at that time was very foreign, maybe even taboo.

However, with the passage of time and the trend of using hybrid technology, these conditions began to change. In recent years, there has been a trend of using hybrid technology. Even some countries use rules to ‘force’ the use of hybrids in their country. With these circumstances, we need to take into account the presence of the Prius.

Toyota also certainly continues to innovate in developing the design and hybrid technology embedded in the Prius. Then, what is the long journey of the Toyota Prius from the beginning of planning until now entering its fourth generation? This time we will look at the journey of the Prius Hybrid from its inception to 2022.

Toyota Prius Hybrid Planning Stage (1993 – 1995)

The initial journey of the presence of the Toyota Prius Hybrid began in 1993. In that year, Toyota Motor Corporation officials had the idea to present an environmentally friendly car. In a broader sense, a vehicle that has low fuel emissions and at the same time has good fuel efficiency.

Toyota Prius Living Legend Hybrid Car
Toyota Prius Hybrid Concept. Photo: doc. Toyota Global

Starting from that thought, then in 1994 Toyota engineers and designers started designing a car with hybrid technology. From the beginning, the Toyota authorities gave the car the name Toyota Prius. After a year of development, it was only in 1995 that Toyota’s official Prius Hybrid concept was showcased at the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show.

It didn’t take long for Toyota to push this start-up car. So, a year after the event for the car, namely 1996, Toyota again displayed a prototype version of the Prius hybrid at the same event.

Toyota Prius Living Legend Hybrid Car
Interior of the Toyota Prius Hybrid Concept. Photo: doc. Toyota Global

First-generation Toyota Prius (1997 – 2003)

Then on October 27, 1997, Toyota finally officially launched the first production version of the Prius in Japan. This first Prius is present in the NHW10 body code. However, Toyota has not directly marketed it at this time. This new Prius hybrid Toyota was officially marketed in December 1997.

With the official marketing, the Prius is also the first hybrid car in the world to be mass-produced by an automotive manufacturer. The Prius has won several awards. Some of them were the Car of The Year Japan Award in 1997 and the following year also won the title of Car of The Year Automotive Researchers and Conference of The Year in Japan.

Toyota Prius Living Legend Hybrid Car
The first-generation Toyota Prius Hybrid. Photo: doc. Toyota.Uk

In this first generation, the Prius has a 4-cylinder petrol engine coded 1NZ – FXE with a capacity of 1.5 liters. Toyota combines the gasoline engine with a compact electric motor and a separate generator capable of producing 57 hp.

As for the battery components, this first-generation Prius carries a nickel-metal hybrid battery. The designers put it behind the back seat. This is quite good in terms of safety because the position is a bit far from the source of gasoline.

In this version, the Prius is still present in the form of a rounded sedan. One thing that is unique in this car, namely the location of the transmission lever which is located on the dashboard like in an SUV or pickup in America.

Facelift Version

Toyota Prius Living Legend Hybrid Car
The interior of the first-generation Toyota Prius Hybrid. Photo: doc. Toyota Global

Entering the year 2000, Toyota introduced the Prius facelift. Toyota changed the body code to NHW11. Starting from this facelifted Prius too, Toyota made it their first Prius model to be officially marketed outside of Japan. At that time, the facelifted Prius was exported to several countries in America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

This refreshed version also includes several changes and improvements. One of them is on the power side and the distance that the vehicle can travel when using its electric power. Likewise, the appearance gets some positive changes.

In this first generation, the Prius can get quite a lot of fans. Least, it is recorded that Toyota has sold more than 123,000 Prius units from its first production in December 1997 until it stopped in August 2003.

Second Generation Toyota Prius (2003 – 2009)

After reaping the success of its first-generation, Toyota is chasing the next success. This Japanese company then presented the second-generation Prius hybrid at the 2003 New York International Auto Show. In the second generation, the Prius hybrid was present in the NHW20 body code. The shape is much different from the first generation. The Prius no longer carries the body shape of a sedan, but comes in the form of a liftback.

Toyota Prius Living Legend Hybrid Car
The second-generation Toyota Prius Hybrid – Toyota Prius Living Legend Hybrid Car. Photo: doc. Toyota Global.

With this change in shape, the interior space of the Prius becomes more spacious than in the previous generation. The additional area includes passenger legroom to luggage space. Not only in the volume section, but Toyota also attaches some advanced technology to this generation.

One of them is the Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) which is a system that will regulate the balance between a gasoline engine and an electric motor. In this system, the electric motor will also play an important role in generating extra power to achieve maximum power. Not only that, but the presence of HSD also makes the range of the Prius electric motor even further.

Read more: Electric motors in hybrid and EV vehicles

Despite many changes, the Prius still uses the Atkinson Cycle engine with a capacity of 1.5 liters. This machine gets improvements with the ability to produce much greater power, namely 78 hp. Not only is the power much greater, but the fuel efficiency of this car has also increased rapidly.

Toyota Prius Living Legend Hybrid Car
The interior of the second-generation Toyota Prius Hybrid. Photo: doc. Toyota Global

Read more: Learn More about the Atkinson Cycle Engine.

Toyota promises that in this second generation, the Prius is 15 percent more efficient in terms of fuel use. The increase in fuel efficiency is inseparable from the presence of regenerative technology in the braking section that can restore wasted kinetic energy.

Read more: Understanding More About Regenerative Brakes.

In short, when we step on the car’s brake pedal, the electric motor will return the wasted electric current to enter back into the battery. Indirectly, when braking, the battery will be charged again by an electric current.

With various technological and design developments, it is not surprising that sales of this second-generation Prius have increased rapidly. Recorded until 2009, Toyota was able to sell the second-generation Prius Hybrid nearly 1.2 million units worldwide.

Third Generation Toyota Prius (2009 – 2015)

Entering the year 2009, finally appeared the third-generation Prius. Toyota brought their new Prius hybrid to the North American International Autoshow. The presence of this third-generation Toyota Prius, at that time, had caused controversy. Because at that time Toyota surprisingly cut the price of the Prius quite significantly.

Toyota Prius Living Legend Hybrid Car
The third generation Toyota Prius. Source: Greencarreports

Allegations also emerged that it was part of Toyota’s strategy to repel the onslaught of Honda Insight which began to disrupt the existence of the Prius in the hybrid car segment. In addition to cutting prices, Toyota of course also made some changes and improvements to the look and technology of the Prius.

Still present with a liftback style, the Prius definitely looks much more modern. Moreover, the Prius appears on a new platform so that it has a new look that is much more aerodynamic and lighter. Toyota also applies some aluminum materials, to make the weight of the Prius much lighter. This includes, such as on the hood, trunk, front axle, to brake calipers.

Some of the ecological bioplastic components made from plants are also pinned by Toyota in this third-generation Prius. With that use, making the Toyota Prius is one of the best environmentally-friendly vehicles in the world.

Not half-hearted, Toyota also overhauled the engine for this third generation. The Prius hybrid carries a new engine with a larger capacity, which is 1.8 liters. Toyota combines the 1.8 engine with the Hybrid Synergy Drive system which is much lighter than the previous generation. The combination is finally able to produce 22 percent greater power, which is 136 hp.

Toyota Prius Living Legend Hybrid Car
The interior of the third generation Toyota Prius Hybrid. Source: Toyota Global

Despite producing more power, the new engine became much more efficient thanks to its lower engine speed. Not only that, this third-generation Prius is also equipped with various new features, such as 3 choices of driving modes, namely EV, ECO, and Sport, as well as Intelligent Parking Assist, Lane Keep Assist and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control features.

Read more: Understanding Lane Keep Assist

In this third generation, Toyota also presents a choice of a new hybrid system on the Prius, namely the Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV). This system Toyota developed on the same platform as the Prius hybrid. This new PHEV model Toyota officially exhibited at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show and they officially marketed it in 2012.

Comes with plug-in hybrid technology, Toyota embeds a new battery, namely lithium-ion with a power of 4.4 kWh in this Prius PHEV.

Read more: A talk about lithium-ion batteries

Fourth-generation Toyota Prius (2015 – present)

In September 2015, Toyota officially introduced the fourth generation of the Prius, codenamed XW50 in Las Vegas, United States. Toyota builds this generation on a new platform, namely the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). With the new platform, Toyota claims the fourth-generation Prius is much lighter, stiffer and has a much lower center of gravity.

Toyota Prius Living Legend Hybrid Car
Prius hybrid 4th generation. Source: NBC News

With various updates to the platform, Toyota’s Managing Officer who is also the chief engineer of the fourth-generation Prius, Satoshi Ogiso, claims the Prius has much better control than before.

Not only that, Ogiso also said that the new hybrid technology embedded in the Prius Hybrid makes it much more efficient in terms of fuel consumption and low emissions. In addition to presenting a hybrid-powered Prius, Toyota also launched a plug-in hybrid version of the Prius in November 2016.

In its plug-in hybrid version, the Toyota Prius PHEV combines a gasoline engine with a 2ZR-FXE coded 1.8 liter capacity with 1 electric motor. The combination produces a combined power of 134 hp and 207 Nm of torque.

Toyota Prius Living Legend Hybrid Car
Source: global.toyota

When the battery is fully charged, the Prius PHEV can still go on full electricity up to a distance of 68.2 kilometers. Then, for charging the battery itself, the Prius can be fully charged in just 2 hours and 20 minutes using a 220 volt 16A charger.

Several advanced features are also embedded by Toyota in this fourth-generation Prius, one of which is the Toyota Safety Sense safety feature package, which includes Blind Spot Monitor, Hill Start Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Tire Pressure Monitoring System, and Vehicle Stability Control.

Read more: 

2 thoughts on “Toyota Prius Living Legend Hybrid Car

  1. Pingback: What is the Difference Between Atkinson Cycle Engine vs Otto Engine? | Hi-tech for Future

  2. Pingback: Why Does The Hybrid System Warning Light Come On? | Hi-tech for Future

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.