| HAMAMATSU, Japan – Toyota unveiled on Tuesday the version of the Prius hybrid set to go on sale in Brazil during the second half of 2012, reported a G1 journalist who traveled to Japan at Toyota’s invitation. The selling price for the car which combines an electric motor with a gasoline engine has not yet been set.
The automaker says it is negotiating with the Brazilian government incentives for consumers who buy the car. The Prius to be sold in Brazil is the third generation hybrid, launched in Japan in 2009, which went through a redesign and will be put on display Wednesday at the Tokyo Press Hall. The previous model had a 1.5 liter engine with a 56kW motor, The current engine is a 1.8 liter coupled with a 73 kW motor which together, coupled to an automatic transmission, develop 138 horsepower.
The focus of the redesign for the new generation was the improvement of fuel economy, which now rates 50 mpg city, which equates to 21 km/l, according to Toyota. The car has three driving modes. In EV, the car travels using only the electric motor, which, with a fully charged battery, will go up to 50 km/h (32 mph). The EV mode is sufficient for city driving says the manufacturer.
The Eco Mode utilizes both the electric motor and the engine. This mode allows a balance of economy with increased speeds. The last mode, the “fun” mode, is Power mode, which gives improved performance at higher speeds.
This third generation Prius, in addition to being more economical, is 35 mm (1.4 inches) longer that the previous model. The rear seats are recessed to provide more comfort to passengers and the rear-passenger legroom is increased by 190 mm (7.5 inches). The car is sold as a five passenger vehicle.
The reporter for G1, Luciana de Oliveira, who was able to drive the model destined for Brazil on a closed track in Hamamatsu—located near Nagoya—was struck by the absolute silence of the vehicle while driving. She was impressed by the novelty of the parking brake being activated by foot, as is common in the U.S. and Japan.
Brazilian online news source for this article: G1 Auto Sport