Prius - SA launch
dates : 13th March 2005
17th March 2005
arguable whether it’s going to be the looks or the
ground-breaking hybrid technology that establishes
Toyota’s Pruis in this market. It was styled in-house
in Japan, but there’s plenty of Californian and
European influence from Toyota’s design studios around
Hybrid Synergy Drive refers to the petrol and electric
engines that are linked side-by-side in the engine bay.
The low-emissions petrol engine produces 57 kiloWatts,
and the electric motor adds another 50 kiloWatts. That’s
a total of 107 kiloWatts, and performance is nifty.
Silent running is an attribute, but the big marketing
noise for Prius is its environmental cleanliness. It has
been calculated that driving a Prius from Durban to
Tokyo produces fewer emissions than using a bottle of
nail polisher remover!
Many car companies are working on hybrids, but the Prius
is by far the most successful to date, with over
two-hundred-thousand built since the first Prius debuted
in 1997. This is the second-generation Prius, and it now
has an impressive cabin specification.
The Prius will spend most of its working life using both
engines. The switch to the petrol motor is seamless,
thanks to advanced electronics.
And when you lift off the accelerator, the battery is
automatically recharged as the electric engine switches
are some controversial aspects regarding the car. Toyota
are only leasing, and not selling them at this stage.
And because of the high aluminum content in the floor
pan and suspension, Toyota say they are not to be driven
on dirt roads if at all possible.
Toyota reserves the right to cancel the lease contract
if any abuse has been found, which is why we drove so
slowly to our filming location.
Four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle petrol, 1 497 cc
Permanent magnet electric, 500 Volt
- Power: 57 kW
@ 5 000 rpm (petrol) 50 kW @ 1 200 rpm (electric)
- Torque: 115
Nm @ 4 000 rpm (petrol) 400 Nm @ 0-1 200 rpm
CVT (Constantly Variable Transmission, cone and belt
- 0-100 km/h:
- Top speed:
- Fuel consumption:
4,3 litres/100 km
- Price: R5 000
(approx) per month, four-year lease contract
Car Torque is