It was about a month ago when Toyota revealed its all-new Prius hybrid, but at that point details concerning the technical specifications were rather limited. Now, the Japanese marque has released all the spicy info about their very popular model which has reached fourth generation and aims to be 18% more fuel efficient than its predecessor thank to a thoroughly upgraded hybrid setup.
The engineers have managed to boost the thermal efficiency of the 4-cylinder 1.8-liter gasoline engine to 40% thanks to a dual cooling system that has reduced the coolant flow volume in the engine so now the warm-up is achieved faster. The revised combustion engine now makes use of low-viscosity oil to lower the amount of frictions between the parts. During cold days, the newly added coolant water selector valve will enhance engine warm-up without affecting the performance of the cabin heater.
The inline-four DOHC engine is rated at 97 bhp at 5,200 rpm and has a peak torque of 142 Nm at 3,600 rpm and works together with a 73 bhp electric motor. The latter has a more compact size and benefits from fewer mechanical losses as a result of the new multi-axle design. There’s a newly developed NiMh (nickel-metal hydride) battery pack positioned behind the rear bench, unlike on the outgoing Prius where the batteries sit in the trunk. This relocation has enabled an increase in cargo capacity to 502 liters which was also possible by moving the auxiliary batteries to the engine compartment.
More importantly, Toyota mentions the fourth generation Prius will be able to return 40 kmpl in the Japanese JC08 cycle which is really impressive and hopefully the real word figures will be close to the official ratings. It should be mentioned we are dealing with an all-new model as the vehicle has made the switch to the TNGA platform that will underpin many models from Toyota in the following years.
The overhauled Prius will be exhibited at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show in Japan starting October 28.