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What to expect from the next model year Prius



  • pathstar1pathstar1 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 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 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 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 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 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.
  • 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 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 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 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 Posts: 4,722
    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 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 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 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 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 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 Posts: 7,160
    Enjoy less for more $. Your trolling on the Prius boards will be given the due consideration it deserves.
  • sharon22sharon22 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 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 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 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. 9-carryover-2008-confirmed.html#post621530

    Expect the Gen 3 to arrive here summer 2009 as a 2010 model.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder 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 San DiegoPosts: 31,134
    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.
  • 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 San DiegoPosts: 31,134
    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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.