Economy, Auto

Toyota Prius Gets Upgrades

Toyota Prius Gets UpgradesToyota Prius Gets Upgrades

The Toyota Prius, the world’s first mass-produced hybrid gas-electric car, has been around for over 15 years and it’s finally getting an aesthetic makeover.

The Prius is even becoming a site on Tehran’s congested streets, although in small numbers. Though quite bland and blocky in design, Prius has gained for itself a reputation for reliability, versatility and extraordinary fuel economy, according to Tech Times.

The industry’s bestselling hybrid, the Prius, has been rated one of the most popular vehicles by the subscribers of United States’ Consumer Reports. With the fourth-generation debut of Toyota’s iconic hybrid, the brand name for gas-electric cars is primed to attract a new set of buyers with its edgier design.

“The car’s shape is wedgy, with a rising beltline and small, angular lights. The 2016 Prius is lower and wider than its predecessor, but remains recognizably a Prius, the fourth generation of the world’s bestselling hybrid,” notes Mark Phelan, auto critic for the Detroit Free Press.

The foundation of the Prius’ updated look is the Toyota New Global Architecture, a modular automobile platform the car manufacturer created to reduce costs by allowing the sharing of parts and to better improve the dynamics and efficiency of Toyota’s cars. In fact, both the Prius and the upcoming Camry share the same platform on which they are built.

Even if the Prius has an electric motor, most of the work will still be done by the gasoline engine.

“When the battery is fully charged, Prius-san takes off silently and graciously. That’s really impressive and it does make you feel good. Even in optimum circumstances, we’re told that about a mile of all-electric cruising is all that you can expect. This is a reminder that the Prius is a hybrid, not an EV,” Automobile magazine’s Georg Kacher warns.

The 1.8-liter four-cylinder gas engine is accompanied by two electric motors that provide a total of 121 horsepower for the Prius. Compared to last year’s model with 134 horsepower, the 2016 Prius may seem underpowered.

However, “that’s due to a different Japanese calculation method that takes into account the gas engine’s 95 hp and the electric motor’s 71 horses,” explains Gabe Shenhar of Consumer Reports.

Locally, Persian Khodro reported in late October that IrToya, Toyota’s official dealer locally, announced the 2016 Prius would come into Iran in small quantities to “test the car in the local market”.  

Financial Tribune contacted the dealer for information on the price and date of release, but a representative noted that they were not “planning to sell the vehicle anytime soon”.

IrToya Marketing Department’s respondent said they brought the cars in small numbers in May, but were not releasing them publicly. However, there have been independent dealers importing the vehicle.

The company later added, “Irtoya plans to bring the vehicle in at a later date, but we currently don’t have an exact time.”