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What to expect from the next model year Prius



  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Could this be true? Using Lead Acid instead of NiMH batteries as in the current Prius?

    This is set to be powered by a 1.6-litre turbo engine, mated to a more efficient hybrid system. Previously, Toyota has hinted it would use lithium-ion batteries to create a vehicle capable of returning up to 100mpg.
    However, technical challenges in the development of the new cells has forced bosses to abandon this plan, and instead it will use less advanced lead acid cells.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    No that's a typo.. The current and the next Gen will still have NiMH batteries. I'd expect the new Prius to achieve about 55 -60 mpg Combined under the new 2008 regulations. That's a 20% increase in Average FE.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    I'd say that's an indicator of the accuracy of the "news item". Yet more speculation from a bogus auto mag trying to sell copies.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    "..1.6-litre turbo engine..."


    There is just barely enough HEAT level left in the exhaust of an atkinson engine to fire off the catalyst to operating temperature. Certainly NOT enough to "power" a turbo.

    On the other hand a fully variable speed/boost Supercharger might be an ideal way to increase the power of a 1.6L engine up to the level "required". Adding another variable frequency inverter to power a 2-3 HP AC motor to drive the SC would be a POC. Even better, driving the SC via a combination of the ICE and an AC motor via a form of the e-CVT would be even better.
  • toyolla2toyolla2 Member Posts: 158
    We all know that Toyota, as with other auto companies, is on this track of more power with succeeding models whether the consumer needs it or not. With the Prius the most obvious upgrade is to let the 1NZ-FXE engine run at 6000rpm which should up the power from 76Hp to something around 90Hp with only incremental increases in the electrical equipment. Of course the engine may not be quite so clean at this level but does the DOT testing actually require the engine to touch maximum output over its standard driving cycle, does anybody know ?
    I have brought this up before that the amount of time that full power is ever used is comparitively small, perhaps the standard should be that when cruising at top speed. But could you even fail a vehicle on its pollution count at 100mph since that condition is beyond posted limits permitted in any state ?
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    That's exactly the argument I often used against the K&N filter, operating at WOT and near top RPM is so rare that the clear majority of the time the throttle valve is the MAJOR restriction to airflow.
  • toyolla2toyolla2 Member Posts: 158
    wwest, I agree with what you say but it doesn't answer my questions re CO2 counts etc.

    However talking of engine use at max rpms, that is the reason I favor series hybrids. With control of the throttle most drivers will not rev above 4000rpm, so they have this large engine but they never use but two thirds its capacity.
    With Prius and series hybrids you relinquish that control to the ECU. In return you get, with the Prius, a performance boost not found with stepped transmissions as the engine continuously rises towards its full rpm at 51mph.
    Instead of capitalising further on this advantage, the industry appears to be looking to use more power to be sourced from batteries. Fom a recent announcement we learn Toyota is supplying two Prius to SoCal universities equipped with larger NiMH packs. I see that as a niche market with the cost of the battery raising the hybrid premium.

    Alternatively, I would like to see the Fiat 900cc two-cylinder engine style, from the Panda Aria concept that's scheduled for 2010 I believe, installed in the next design of Prius. It has 25% less weight and 20% more FE over the small four usually fitted to that Fiat vehicle. Fiat is working on a 65Hp naturally aspirated version but the turbocharged 105Hp is good to go. I can only guess that the higher CR used on the lesser engine is giving a NOX issue.

    Fewer cylinders would provide a needed cost reduction on the Prius. I would quite believe that the machining operations are similar in inline fours such that the price delta between 1.5L and 2.4L engines is quite small. It is going to need something like less cylinders to make a difference.

    They used to say about small engines 'a different hill needed a different gear'. The Prius servos with their ability to supply the exact ratio needed for the load torque at any point in time would seem ideally suited to these two-cylinder engines.
  • chadxchadx Member Posts: 153
    "I went to the trouble of flying to Virginia from Florida to buy my Silver car with package #6 a week ago."

    I hope you bought carbon offset credits for the flight. ha! ;)

    Just kidding, of course, but that joke works on so many levels, I couldn't resist!
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    The double battery pack used in the test vehicles both in Japan and at the universities in the US are to simulate the new LiION pack in a plug-in system. The LiION pack is reputed to be a 12 -14 AHr pack, so two of the NiMH 6.5 AHr packs had to be used to give similar range. Nothing to do with extending the power from battery but rather extending the EV only range. We don't know if or how Toyota limited current flow from the double pack. Current flow limiting in the current Prius is why it will start the ICE if you accelerate very much. In that case, the limiting was put in to protect the battery to ensure long life.

    The test vehicles are here to evaluate the usefulness of the extended range on EV only, to see if it is really worth the extra cost, in an urban setting. They are also evaluating the use of the plug-in feature, to see how that translates to reduced emissions, again, in a US urban setting, and the Japanese ones in their urban setting. It's hard for the engineers to know exactly how such a vehicle would be used, as that is different in different cultures, so these tests are to gather data on that.
  • stevedebistevedebi Member Posts: 4,098
    "However talking of engine use at max rpms, that is the reason I favor series hybrids. With control of the throttle most drivers will not rev above 4000rpm, so they have this large engine but they never use but two thirds its capacity. "

    If it were possible to build a commercially-viable series hybrid, I think Toyota would already have done it. I hear lots of hype about series hybrids, but have yet to see an actual implementation, except for (I think) diesel train engines.

    Do you have any links to post for anyone who has ever produced such a auto comercially?
  • toyolla2toyolla2 Member Posts: 158
    Hi Steve, this link is about series hybrid delivery vans supplied to Purolator (Canada Post)


    Azure were working a deal in the UK with London Taxis International to supply them with a series hybrid cab. At least one was built and shipped from their plant in Vancouver, BC. Later on LTI introduced their new "Black Cab" for London's downtown. Said vehicle turned out to be a 2.2L diesel with automatic transmission. That's right, someone gave the greenlight to mixing thousands of diesel engines in one of the most populated areas in England, go figure.

    This particular action seemed hardly consistent with government policy to reduce air pollution in urban settings. A while later Azure closed their UK office.
    Azure Dynamics is a division of Ballard Power Systems. Last week Ballard announced the sale of its automotive fuel cell division.

    In the meantime it must have been somewhat embarrasing for Azure to learn that the highest mileage hybrid was in fact a Vancouver taxi in the form of a Toyota Prius, which had been running around in their own backyard.

  • toyolla2toyolla2 Member Posts: 158
    Always a good idea to get preliminary feedback. I hear SoCal has idyllic weather despite the occasional grass fire. This would be a perfect time of the year to start putting these vehicles into the snowbelt as well for a more robust test. Pathstar1, it would be interesting to see whether they are up for that. Anyone who leaves a vehicle overnight in temperatures of -10deg C without a battery warmer and a well insulated battery box is going to be disappointed I can tell them right now. And for that my bill will follow shortly. :)
    Regarding power limitation, you are probably aware the Prius - with software changes - could reach 60 mph using the nominal 21kw without actually overspeeding MG1 but is seven miles of this continuous type of operation going to be tolerable to the PSD ? Else it will be interesting to see how many opportunities there are to drive below 42mph for the extended range.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    Unfortunately, if you do try that (using battery only to accelerate to 60 MPH) you will draw too much current from the battery. This will drastically shorten the battery life, due to overtemp and just from the high current even if you could control the temp. Remember, it's only a 6.5 AHr NiMH battery. If Toyota designed one with two packs in series, so 416 V nominal instead of 208 V nominal, perhaps the current would be low enough to be safe. This is what other prototype vehicles have been doing. You can see this design need if you look at the new GM SUV (Tahoe/Yukon) hybrids. They use a 500+V battery, as they are much heavier than the Prius so need a lot more power (read current with the same voltage). So they had to raise the voltage to keep the current reasonable.

    As for low temps, I don't think -10 C would be too bad. I've not seen any problems with the "traction battery" so far, but I've also only seen -5C (this will be Pearl's first winter). Once you start using the battery it quickly warms up, and it only has to start the ICE at first.Others with more winter experience have not had problems with the "traction battery", it's been the 12V one that has failed them. We shall see.

    Now once the temp gets down below -40C (or F - they are about the same) then it gets interesting. THAT is when we start having battery problems with lead acid ones. At least the NiMH battery won't freeze at those temps.! It takes a lot of current to turn over an engine when the oil is that cold. It kind of tends to become molasses. ;) I'm referring to the oil in the HSD, as the engine oil can be 5W30 synthetic (what I'm using) and it flows pretty well, even at -40.

    Yuck, thanks for reminding me what I'm going to experience in the next few months! ;)
  • toyolla2toyolla2 Member Posts: 158
    "Unfortunately, if you do try that (using battery only to accelerate to 60 MPH) you will draw too much current from the battery."

    I think it's documented and confirmed by scantool that MG2's controller will current limit to a battery bus draw of 100 Amps. The two packs should share this current since the volt drop in their internal impedances may force a current equalising effect, not perfect but close enough for new packs and in the short term. I don't want to debate whether this is a good idea for reliability going forwards, perhaps not. But right now this is a test about the human interface response to an extended driving range.

    MG2 will have benefit from the upconverter that normally transforms the 201v pack voltage towards 500v as the vehicle goes from 20mph to 50mph, of which you may have forgotten. So connecting packs in series is not an issue here. As the vehicle gains speed over this range the current will have to reduce inversely of course to observe the nominal 21kw limitation on battery power specified with the Gen II Prius (NHW-20). And I suppose it goes without saying that as long as 21kw exceeds the power needed to cruise, the vehicle will continue to accelerate.

    You've not addressed my concern of MG1 approaching 10,000rpm as the vehicle nears 60mph which may setup an audible whine. This speed was promised earlier for the Li-ion pack which is why I bring it up.

    Have you seen these ?
    The following contain useful temperature / power graphs
    For CY1997-2000 NHW-10 Prius, 7.2V X 40 modules (cylindrical)

    For CY2000-2003 NHW-11 Prius, 7.2V X 38 modules (old prismatic)
    (They used to have a comparison page, but it was gone.)

    For CY2003-2005 NHW-20 Prius, 7.2V X 28 modules (new prismatic)

    For CY2005 HH/RX400h, 9.6V X 30 modules (metal prismatic)

  • toyolla2toyolla2 Member Posts: 158
    I'll try once more !

    For CY1997-2000 NHW-10 Prius, 7.2V X 40 modules (cylindrical)

    For CY2000-2003 NHW-11 Prius, 7.2V X 38 modules (old prismatic)
    (They used to have a comparison page, but it was gone.)

    For CY2003-2005 NHW-20 Prius, 7.2V X 28 modules (new prismatic)

    For CY2005 HH/RX400h, 9.6V X 30 modules (metal prismatic)
  • stevedebistevedebi Member Posts: 4,098
    "Hi Steve, this link is about series hybrid delivery vans supplied to Purolator (Canada Post)"

    Thanks, interesting link.

    I'm wondering if the cost is prohibitive vs. performance for the consumer market. Businesses can depreciate costs, so their equipment can be more expensive and still be economically viable.

    Also, delivery vans don't generally run long distances at high speeds; I wonder how that would work out with consumer vehicles...
  • sr1945sr1945 Member Posts: 38
    My thoughts on a new Prius soon......

    Need a hybrid, but the current Prius interior and dash layout are not to my liking for the money spent. Wish they had a more standard dash layout, than I would jump on it. Though some pictures are around of a possible new hybrid Prius in 09, none of which have a interior shot.

    Toyota, I hope will make the follow on Prius much better inside. Still like the exterior, but that to now needs a refresh.

    If anyone in the know, has some rumors about what the new Prius follow on interior looks like, please post a link. Thanks
  • lm2lm2 Member Posts: 2
    Those interested in what the 2009 Prius may look like, check the March issue of
    Motortrend. There is a drawing based on information or rumors from employees inside Toyota. The drawing shows a very sleek machine, although drawings are often exaggerated. Also mentions that the engine will be a 1.8 litre, and initially will use the current battery pack.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    Yes I had heard that there was rumor of bumping the 1.5L up to the 1.8L and increasing the capability of the NiMH battery pack and motors. since the new HH has an ECON mode and an EV mode button I'd guess that the next Prius will as well. Pure speculation though.

    As a counterpoint, I love the dash on my current Prius I hope that keep that in some form or another.
  • toyolla2toyolla2 Member Posts: 158
    First, if we are going to speculate let's look at some numbers. To start with, I've never fully understood why the current Prius engine runs only to 5000rpm, whereas the 2.4L in the Camry Hybrid runs at the same speed as the engine in the non-Hybrid Camry which is 6000rpm. With that in mind I would expect that before upgrading engine capacity to 1.8L, from Im2's Motor Trend reference, that Toyota would be addressing this rpm issue with the original engine first. Sure I'm not expecting them to get the full 108Hp from the Echo's 1NZ-FE engine but 20% increase from the 76Hp Atkinsonised engines, that were installed starting with the 2004 Prius, would be welcome. The following is a rehash of my #104 post of three months ago. It was in answer to wwest regarding the suggestions of more horsepower via forced induction. This unfortunate 1.8L idea being also a step in this direction. Even though I don't own one yet my test drive of the Prius told me the car is powerful enough. And incidently that's from the vantage point of someone who happens to drive a Lexus. Clearly fuel economy will suffer with a 1.8L and the last time I looked the Prius is under no threat in the horsepower race.

    To continue with the simple expedient of merely increasing the engine rpm by 20% must needs the rest of the system to accomodate this. And inexpensively too I might add. The fact is you have to start with the MG2 system which will need upgrading 20% also, since at lower speeds the majority of the torque at the wheels comes from this machine - 259lbs-ft versus 59lbs-ft from the ICE. To do this the three stage reducer giving a 4.113 stepdown ratio needs to be stretched still further to 5.0. This will require MG2 to run at 7200rpm at 100mph and to do that will require the upconverter to supply a max of 650volts, up from the 500volts used previously. At the same time MG1 will need to reach 12000 rpm to generate this voltage also. All these things have been done with the Camry Hybrid by the way. The remaining gearing and motor currents will stay as before. Since voltage and rpm are 'free' only the minimal cost of the two gears being changed is the salient factor. Motor windings can remain the same since the engine torque is not being upgraded. The system continues to deal with the same torque as before but at a newer maximum rpm.

    Let's determine the max power point using ICE = 6000rpm, MG1= 12000rpm.
    Then 12000 - 3.6 x 6000 = - 2.6 x MG2,
    so MG2 = 3692rpm and since 7200rpm = 100mph.....

    The current Prius engine does not reach full power until 51.28mph, and the calculation shows this suggested new arrangement won't change things either. Of course MG2 would now be rated at 60kw with somewhat higher iron losses but these would be compensated by improved cooling. This is still the same vehicle so the rolling losses haven't changed, just the time the system can be run at full power at maximum acceleration has been reduced. It must be obvious to most that the more powerful you make the car the shorter the time you are going to have to use that power if top speed, as here, is clipped at 100mph. And this is what the designers are banking on. This also means that despite the expected performance uptick anyone who puts a towbar on this vehicle can still put the system at risk.

    In #104 replying to wwest earlier I wrote one of the problems with HSD is the ring gear and the components connected to it. Rotating this assembly beyond 6000rpm raises a serious balance issue. It represents the output shaft of the whole system and this rpm at 100mph is fine for a planetary connected to a 4 cyl engine, later on however it may turn out to be too slow for the higher speed small engines in the pipeline It will be interesting to see whether this ring gear increase is the choice Toyota will make. Everything has risk but it's not like the greater population are regularly driving or should be driving this vehicle above 85mph anyway that would repeatedly test 7200rpm speeds on this component.
    Finally I would like to see them copy the Camry design which has omitted the sprocket chain power takeoff - thereby possibly releasing a 6% gain in torque by my estimation. If you care to go to #470 on the Toyota Camry Hybrid board where USBSEAWOLF2000 has posted diagrams of the two systems you can see what I mean.

    I am fairly sure they won't go so far as to copy that second planetary used to raise the specific power of MG2 that you will also see there. For that matter I think HSD design will stagnate until the Chevy Volt appears or Honda returns with a new hybrid but not with their mechanical CVT that can't seem to reach 100k miles nor with the IMA which becomes ineffective when the HV battery is exposed to extended sub zero temperatures.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    I suspect the RPM is limited due to the Atkinson cycle. That is, it's a longer stroke than the Echo engine, not exactly the -SAME- engine. Long stroke engines don't handle high RPM well. Note that the RPM was raised from the THS which ran up to 4500 RPM (current model is THS II). Toyota -may- change the engine, but from what I've heard, if they do it's because the current design is getting "long in the tooth". A newer design would give lower emissions, among other things, such as fully adjustable valve timing (intake -and- exhaust).

    I don't know where these rumors begin, but I suspect it's magazines trying to sell copies, not real info. leaked from Toyota. Including the image showing a sleeker Prius. Do know that the "bean shaped" (my description, please don't read any of my feelings into that term) ;) concept car first shown last year at the German Auto show has many design ideas that, according to Toyota, will be used in the next iteration.

    I concur that the current car is powerful enough. And I'm comparing to a 2001 Nissan Pathfinder LE (240 HP 265 lb-ft of torque). My Prius passes better on 2 lane highways than the Pathfinder ever did! Probably a combination of lower weight, lower wind resistance, and electric motor torque assistance.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    I certainly don't have the technical expertise of you both but from a user's pov I too find that the current model has plenty of power. I liken it to a point guard being quick and nimble in traffic.

    That being said a 'new' model has to offer something to make the next model attractive so as not to become stale. Increased fuel economy would be wonderful if it were to jump to to mid 50's under the new EPA standards; ( 1.8 gal / 100 mi driven or 4.28 l/100km ). With EV / ECON options it would be very appealing to certain groups of buyers.

    As for a new engine it appears that Toyota is going to the 'R' structure across the board beginning with the 1GR in the current 4R. That's been followed by the 2GR, 3GR, 1UR, 3UR and most recently the 2ZR 1.8L in the new Corolla and Matrix. A new 2.7L I4 is forseen in the new Venza in the fall, 1AR? Would it not make sense to standardize everything to Atkinsonize the current 1ZR 1.6L for the next Prius?
  • tiff_ctiff_c Member Posts: 531
    Just wondering if there is any info leaked out about if the new 2009 model will have better seats. If it had we would have bought one. Really needs a better drivers seat fro long trips even tho it's a city car. height adjustment as well as a more comfortable seat would be welcome.
    Any rumors?
  • toyolla2toyolla2 Member Posts: 158
    I looked up the engine specs for bore and stroke for the 2007 Camry unchanged with the Atkinson variant. The 2.4L 2AZ-FXE engine has a longer stroke (96mm) than the Prius 1.5L (84.7mm). Furthermore the Camry's 6000rpm yields an astounding average piston speed of 19.2m/sec - that's close to racing engine territory.So your statement Long stroke engines don't handle high RPM well may be good theory but Toyota doesn't appear to be following it. In comparison the 1NZ-FXE engine in the Prius tops out at at a leisurely 13.55m/sec piston speed at 5000rpm.

    I have to defer to your grasp of available engines. The 1.6L would work as an upgrade and in keeping with production conformity. I am not familiar with this engine. The HSD will of course just throttle back a more powerful engine to prevent torque overload on MG1. If this engine suited the 6000rpm mod that I outlined earlier - then fine. As a marketing ploy I am not sure this upgrade is a good idea.

    My take is to go the other way with the adoption of a 1.0L 3 cyl similar to the Honda Insight engine. This would yield a big step in fuel economy for the careful driver. On the other hand aggressive driving would showcase the superiority of the HSD system particularly with smaller engines. If you remember, the original cars were fairly anaemic with the same 1NZ-FE engine. It was the 50 % upgrading of the power electronics for the 2004 model year that transformed this car and I am of the opinion that this fact alone will mask somewhat the adoption of a less powerful engine. Going to a tad lighter powertrain up front may affect positively the handling performance also.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Might be a function of the torque/RPM limits of the AC synchronous motor on the opposite end of the CVT. If the ICE, at top RPM, produces 120 ft/lbs of torque then the AC motor must produce 40 ft/lbs at 3 times the ICE's RPM (assuming a 1:3 reduction ratio).

    And my suggestion of a variable speed SC had to do with lowering the size of the ICE while producting the same level of torque and at the same time "evening out" the torque curve, raising the ICE torque at the low end.

    There is also the additional issue with the SC boost available of not having to put the electrics to so much use for hwy use when it cannot be recharged except via the ICE.
  • toyolla2toyolla2 Member Posts: 158
    Hi wwest,
    I am going to respond as best I can.
    I have to make a correction regarding your first paragraph. The torque of the ICE at 5000rpm is around 82lbs-ft not 120lbs-ft, that's if we are discussing the Prius that is. As you are no doubt aware the PSD is not accurately a Power Split Device as Toyota likes to describe it but actually a Torque Split Device. It's a trap I fell into a few years ago since those mathematical equations are a bore. To continue then, we have the PSD splitting the engine torque sending 1/3.6 times 82 or 22lbs-ft into MG1 and the remaining 2.6/3.6 times 82 or 59lbs-ft to the ring gear and ultimately the wheels which I am sure you know.Those figures are reached during maximum acceleration. However as I understand it, as a generator there is no limitation on MG1 except with the proviso that you don't let it generate more than 100 amps or exceed 10,000rpm else the ECU will cause the ICE to be throttled back On the Camry they've allowed a version of this machine to reach 14,000 rpm. So I am confident there is not an rpm issue with MG1 that correspondingly limits the ICE rpm. And MG1 is the critical machine in the HSD system.

    Regarding your middle paragraph, I wasn't aware there was a bottom end torque deficiency but I'm taking your word for it. All I know is that those with scan tools said that Toyota likes to 'park' the engine at 1211 rpm when they need to keep it running when power demand is less than about 8 Hp. If torque was linear then at 1/4 speed as here we should expect 76/4 or 19Hp at this speed so that indeed corroborates what your stating. Naturally the longer you can keep the engine at these low revs the better the fuel economy -reduced engine frictional losses etc.

    I don't get your last paragraph since the SC is not going to help during acceleration since the engine will move up its speed range quite quickly thanks to the partial decoupling of the engine from the wheels afforded by the HSD system.
    Toyota may be addressing low speed torque deficiency with its double VVT-i engine at the next upgrade.
  • railroadjamesrailroadjames Member Posts: 560
    Alright, a slight exageration but still a very interesting thought. I can't help but feel the 2ND Generation Prius has ran its' unchanged body style to its' limits but I find it to be a valid testimony to what a great and functional style it has been. My '04 has kept up with the last 5 yrs of styles and weathered the trends well. Still. I would like to see a sleeker, somewhat sportier Prius with a sunroof. Could a hardtop convertable be asking too much? (probably too pricy)
    As to some of the complaints of others about the seats. I've done several trips (2,000 miles plus) and found them to be more than comfortable. The car will never ride like a "Towncar" but reasonable people know this. A few things I'd like to see on the '09 Prius...SmartKey standard....Tiltwheel...Wider Tires... and (what I hope is coming) THE PLUG-IN Mode. Oh! By the way ...I hope Toyota improves the ease of replacing Hd Lt Bulbs. They're a %*#@!!!!
  • xhe518xhe518 Member Posts: 107
    Is Toyota really going to have a 3rd gen Prius on the market that soon? If you mean model year 2009, that is only months away...If you mean calendar year 2009, then it's a 2010 model year most likely....I'd hate to buy a current Prius and then a new one comes out 12 months from now...!
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    Toyota is notoriously zipped-lipped about new offerings unless it suits their purposes to generate new interest.

    The Prius has a very very loyal owner/fan base that's chomping at the bit to get some tidbit of real data on the next generation. All that Toyota has said is that they decided to delay implementation of the Li-Ion batteries until more validations could be done. I believe that they stated these would be at least 2 more years down the road. 2011 MY?

    But they also denied that there was any delay in the production of the next Gen. Implying that it would be coming out 'on schedule' - whatever that is. The normal schedule for Toyotas is 5 years. That would put the next Gen coming here in mid-Oct of this year. Speculation but I'd feel confident of it.

    My own speculation is that the body is somewhat redone but it's still a 5 door hatch which is one of the best features of the vehicle. I'd guess that it will use the 1.6L 1ZR engine that's already in use in Japan with improved electrics and gearing for somewhat more power and better fuel economy. The new HH has both an EV and an ECON mode. I can see the next Gen Prius having both as well.

    Fuel economy? + 10-20% using the new EPA numbers.

    There may also be a small Prius sedan with either really high fuel economy or one that has the same fuel economy as the 5 door hatch but a much lower price. There could also be a third version as well, pickup, small minivan, small utility vehicle? All speculation.

    Interesting sidenote: When the first Prius' went on sale here in 2000 they were sold to a specific clientele . These buyers had to register with Toyota to be get on the list for one of the first ones to arrive here. These first buyers were called the Pioneers. When this current Gen was being brought to market in June/July of 2003 these Pioneers were given the opportunity to be the first ones to buy the new Gen. If you know one of these Pioneers you might keep an ear open to see if they receive an early offering from Toyota. I sold one of the first of the first back in July of 2000. This buyer also bought one of the first of the first of this current Gen.
  • akgakg Member Posts: 85
    Here's the deal...I have a 2006 Subaru Outback with 32,000 which gets around 21-23 on the curvy roads and hills and 26-30 on the highway. I drive about 16,000 a year. I live rurally. I own my car outright. I would rather have better fuel economy than the AWD.

    I can now sell my car for only a couple thousand less then what what I paid for it (I bought it barely used from a friend and I live in an 'Outback' high demand area) and buy a barely used '07 Prius. The difference with sales tax will be around $3,000.

    Should I just wait a year and buy the new model, or do it now before my car starts to de-value rapidly, as the seem to do? ALSO, does anybody have an idea what the new Prius will look like? Thanks!
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    My seat-of-the-pants advice is to keep what you have. Is the $3000 difference in price realistic, and even if so, you can buy a lot of gas for $3000?

    I would also think "barely used" Priuses would be hard to find and not much cheaper than new.

    There were some photos earlier of what the 2009 Prius might look like, but I think these were photoshopped expectations and not the real deal. Basically the same overall shape, but swoopier.
  • akgakg Member Posts: 85
    Thanks! I am sort of feeling the same way. I was hoping they would modify the style a little, but we'll see. When do you think they'll come out with the plug-in option? I know the technology is rapidly progressing, but still $$ out of reach and would compromise the warranty for an after market plug in.

    I can't believe that an innovative company such as Subaru hasn't come up with a Hybrid.
  • chadxchadx Member Posts: 153
    "I can't believe that an innovative company such as Subaru hasn't come up with a Hybrid. "

    Subaru developed a hybrid a few years ago but didn't bring it to market because they couldn't meet a resonable pricepoint (read: It cost too much to manufacture). Back in 2005, they were considering using existing Toyota technology and work out a technology trade (toyota hybrid driveline for Fuji Heavy Industries lithiumion battery tech.). However, as of 2006, it looked like they determined they couldn't use existing Toyota drivetrain. See below.

    "Reuters is reporting that the two automakers have decided to jointly develop a new hybrid system instead. Apparently, Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel-drive has proven too complex to simply plug Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system in.
    [Source: Nihon Keizai Shimbun via Reuters]"

    There hasn't been much talk recently, but it still seems a long way out according to this
    Subaru Hybrid

    Even the Subaru website doesn't serve up anything too optimisitc on a reasonable timetable.
  • gearhead8gearhead8 Member Posts: 12
    I, too have an 06 Outback. Summer time MPG is around 26. During this past cold Chicago winter it was closer to 20 MPG -not good enough with $4 per gallon gas.
    So I am looking to buy a Prius, if I could get an 07 Prius for only an extra $3000, I would jump at the opportunity.
    I have a very good relationship with my local Subaru dealer. I called him yesterday to ask about a high MPG Subaru. He said all I could do is wait for the diesel that may be in the US in about another 12 months. With diesel fuel selling for about $4.35 per gallon and the efficiency not as good as a good hybrid, I am not anxious to buy an oil burner.
    Toyota has recently purchased another large chunk of Subaru parent FHI stock. You would think they would want Subaru to be more successful. Right now, they Subaru dealers are sitting on alot of inventory, even their new and improved Forester. I like the Forester, but with MPG ratings in the low 20s, I just can't justify buying another poor MPG performer.
    I even have $900 is Subaru bucks burning a hole in my pocket, but these days, $900 doesn't pay for a lot of gasoline.
  • sr1945sr1945 Member Posts: 38
    Nice find bond4james

    Now I wish to find some photos of the interior of the 09. I really wish the interior dash and displays would change. Not really up on what is on the car now. A more normal dash would be to my liking.

    Also the current Navi is too far out where the sun will hit it causing the view of the screen to be washed out. A none touch screen as well. Too many darn finger prints.

    Had a Civic 06 touch screen Navi and did not like it much. Now have the 08 Honda Accord with Nav system, no touch screen and it is a joy to use on long trip.
  • orangelebaronorangelebaron Member Posts: 435
    I sat in the Prius and wasn't surprised that there was no height adjustments for the drivers seat. Steering wheel is too far away, mouse fur cloth covering areas that will get soiled and drum brakes. Typical Japanese stinginess.

    I will wait for the Jetta Diesel.... much more a driver's car. and won't have to worry about magnetic fields....
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    Enjoy less for more $. Your trolling on the Prius boards will be given the due consideration it deserves.
  • sharon22sharon22 Member Posts: 28
    I too drive an 05 Subaru Outback - 51,000 miles on it (higher miles than "average" as we were building a log cabin in the mountains and I made many trips from Atlanta to check on construction). I only average 22 mpg and regret not buying the Prius in 05 when I got the Subaru. In any event, I've placed a deposit on a new '08 Prius w/pkg. 2 waiting for one to come in. In the southeast (FL, GA, SC, NC and AL) no-one is selling below MSRP and you can't find them on any lots. I'm concerned that I may be jumping the gun in my quest for higher mpg -- should I wait for the '09s to come out?
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Member Posts: 1,739
    Spartan Toyota in Lansing, Mi. says on their website they have 3. Had about 9 of them a couple weeks ago when I checked. 23K and 28K and 28K
  • orangelebaronorangelebaron Member Posts: 435
    I'll troll all I want.
    "due consideration"... excuse me?
    I'm not allowed to point out the shortcomings of the Prius?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    ... here's a thread from an other site with some good and accurate info on the changeover from Gen 2 to Gen 3.

    http://priuschat.com/forums/2009-toyota-prius/47621-putting-speculation-rest-200- 9-carryover-2008-confirmed.html#post621530

    Expect the Gen 3 to arrive here summer 2009 as a 2010 model.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    Well speaking of shortcomings...

    The EPA numbers are out for the Jetta Diesel ...
    .. it's 2nd rate as compared to the Prius and HCH,
    .. plus diesel is significantly more expensive than gas,
    .. plus the pricing is likely to be at or above the hybrid models
    .. plus it's a VW with all of VW's baggage to drag around.

    But it probably drives better ( :lemon: ), woo hoo.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    I'm not allowed to point out the shortcomings of the Prius?

    I thought you were spot on. All common complaints from owners. Handling in the wind is a biggie for me. I see them crawling along at 45 MPH to keep them on the highway when the wind blows across Interstate 8 here in San Diego. They seem to be a good city runabout, though kind of expensive.
  • bigmclargehugebigmclargehuge Member Posts: 377
    Not to mention the safety concerns of low-rolling resistance tires.

    I've recently seen 2 Prii lose control on straight, flat, 4-lane highways in the rain at the speed limit and walled it into a concrete barrier. No other cars seemed to mind the invisible forcefield that causes Prii to spontaneously hydroplane.

    I'd never stick my family in a car with low-rolling resistance tires. Wet, dry or cold. You can't put a price on safety.

    If you choose to drive alone in a Prius because money is more important than health and safety, so be it. But do your loved ones a favor and keep the Outback or buy a Jetta.

    Accident avoidance is improved with better handling and tires. 'Safe happens' in a Jetta, but not in a Prius from what I've seen.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Sounds to me like damage control... :shades:

    Don't worry. People that buy Prius are not worried about how the vehicle handles. I don't even see them being cross shopped by VW buyers. Look out if they ever bring the Rabbit TDI to the USA. Or the One series BMW diesel. Then the Prius will have some good competition at the pump. Until then you got a captive market, courtesy of the EPA and CARB.

    I forgot the Accord diesel that was just tested and got 53 MPG highway.
  • sharon22sharon22 Member Posts: 28
    Went on the Informed for Life site and they indicate the '05 Subaru Outback has an overall score of 92 and the '08 Prius an overall score of 79.1. The lower score indicates the vehicle would be safer in their estimation. Can you clarify why they are saying the Prius is safer than an Outback? I have an Outback, but am on the waiting list for a Prius.
  • bigmclargehugebigmclargehuge Member Posts: 377
    Clearly because either they can't do math or because you are quoting the numbers wrong. Or they used some useless statistics.

    Because they clearly are not using the NHTSA 4-star frontal crash rating to say that the Prius is safer than the 5-star Subaru Outback. You know, Subaru, the only company in which every model has been an IIHS Top Safety Pick.

    And if you've bought that the Prius is safer than the Outback, I have some ocean property in Arizona I'll sell you at a discount. Does the Prius still have Drum Brakes in the rear?

    Slippery tires, midevil brakes, gets loose in crosswinds because of bad aerodynamics. And a lower safety rating from the reputable source, NHTSA.

    I was referring specifically to you for keeping the Outback. If you think fuel is more important than family, you go right ahead and pick up the Prius. Thanks for playing.
  • bigmclargehugebigmclargehuge Member Posts: 377
    Yup I just checked that site and those number are arbitrary. But you were clearly too enamoured with the Prius to see that. Is this your website?

    The Prius gets 4-stars for the front, but they get the same points as the Outback's 5-stars.

    For side impact, the Prius' 4.5 stars gets less points than the Outback's 5-stars.

    What the heck? Shouldn't the Prius have scored higher (worse) in both cases?

    They scored the same 4-stars for rollover rating, but again the Prius gets fewer points. What the heck?

    Any more rubbish sites that 'prove' the Prius is safer? Because logic dictates otherwise.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    God doesn't anyone read the specs before posting... Low Rolling Resistance Tires... LMAO!!

    Golly Gee you're only 6-1/2 years out of date!!!!! You do realize that since the Gen2 came out there are no such thing as LRRT's on any of the OEMs. How can you make a post like that based on completely inaccurate data? Pretty soon it will be 2004 and you can bring yourself up to date.
This discussion has been closed.