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Toyota Prius on long term test 

Broadcast dates : 24th July 2005
30th July 2005

The Automobile Association of South Africa has been conducting an extended road test on Toyota’s Prius for its magazine, the AA Traveller.

The Prius is the first electric-petrol hybrid car to be launched in South Africa. Many people feel that the Toyota is the forerunner of a completely different approach to car design. 

AA Traveller was keen to test all facets of the hybrid car, including acceleration, top speed and fuel consumption. Editor Adrian Burford used his GPS test equipment to capture the data.

Hard figures on the Prius pegged the performance at 11,6 seconds for the 0-100 run at Reef altitude, where the petrol engine – but not the electric engine – suffers from a 17 per cent power loss. Top speed is a 171.

The reasoning behind this technology is primarily to protect the environment. 
The combination of a 50 kiloWatt electric motor and a 57 kiloWatt petrol engine means that the car is using less fuel, and harmful emissions to the atmosphere are reduced. In South Africa right now, fuel saving is top of mind. 

The AA is geared up to deal with any mechanical mishaps on the Prius, with a number of technicians at AA Call Centres at hand throughout South Africa.

Intitially, the car was offered on a controversial rental-only basis to test the market. Now Toyota is offering it for sale, and at a price of R269 000 which should make it more attractive, especially to environmentalists.

The wave of the future? All the world’s manufacturers are experimenting with environmentally friendly cars, and right now hybrid technology is a realistic alternative. 

In America the Prius is a major hit. Look forward to more hybrid and alternative fuel cars in the not too distant future.

Toyota Prius
  • Engines: 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 (electric)
  • Transmission: CVT (Constantly Variable Transmission, cone and belt type), front-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 10,9 seconds
  • Top speed: 170 km/h
  • Fuel consumption: 4,3 litres/100 km
  • Price: R5 000 (approx) per month, four-year lease contract
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