• Jan 21, 2007
Never content to rest on their laurels, Toyota has been applying kaizen to the Prius. Look for their next high-efficiency space capsule to bow in 2008 with significant tweaks and tweezes. The body shape remains familiar, though in actuality it's totally changed. Width is expected to grow an inch, while length will shrink the same amount. The artist's rendering depicts a nose that looks inspired by Lamborghini, while the shape of the greenhouse and rump retain their aero-friendly profile. We can understand not making drastic changes, it's not like the Prius's look is dated. Heck, some of us still can't get used to it. You know what it is when you see it, though, and Toyota's hard wind-tunnel work probably doesn't leave a ton of room for form variation.
More exciting than the sheetmetal is what's underneath. The Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder will increase in displacement from 1.5 to 1.8 liters. That should help with long climbs in the hills and other situations where the battery pack is out of the loop. Toyota's way ahead of everyone else with their Hybrid Synergy Drive's software and calibration, and they intend to stay there. Changes to the HSD system along with new battery technology are rumored to bump city mileage to 80mpg. Solar panels in the roof for passive recharging as well as plug-in options are also being considered. We're curious how Toyota intends to nearly double the city mileage number, especially in light of the new EPA guidelines coming for 2008. Series Hybrid, perhaps? I guess we'll have to wait and see; rest assured that execution will be fastidious.

[Source: worldcarfans]



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  • 34 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      @chuck

      You're my new best friend
      • 8 Years Ago
      Try driving it in Colorado. The skinny tires are like ice skates. I would love to own one but it would be like owning my Mustang convertible, one for the summer and a SUV for the winter.... And why do they think the Japan market can handle a plug in version or a electric only option? We to stupid to plug a dam car in?
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't know why so many people bash the Prius's less than EPA mpg performance when *everyone* knows its practically impossible to get EPA numbers on *any* car.

      Let's pick the Toyota Camry 4-cyl for example. EPA rated 24/34. In one of the recent mags (CD or MT) they tested 4-cyl midsize sedans. What was the OVERALL mpg of the Camry during their testing? 24mpg. Same is true for the new CVT equipped Altima 4-cyl, and Accord 4-cyl. 24mpg. So even if a Prius can barely get 40mpg, thats still fantastic.

      I don't know of a single midsized vehicle you can buy in the USA today that can get 35-40mpg in mixed driving, other than the Prius. You might be able to get 35mpg in a smaller Civic or Corolla, but thats if you drive ALL highway. These unfair comparisons make me sick.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I wish they's add some technology to the Prius to prevent their owners from driving 62 MPH in the passing lane of Interstate 5 for miles on end.

      --chuck

      • 8 Years Ago
      I am not an asian-car-basher. I drive a Nissan. Wife drives a Toyota, which I like quite a bit.

      But this car is UGLY. Flat-out, BMW 3-Series ugly. Not "a matter of taste" or anything like that. Just plain ugly.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think this is actually the 2009 or 2010 Prius. Does anyone have any specs, preview of the 2008 Prius? I hate the appearance of the 2007, but dont want to wait until Spring 2009 to get a new car. I am hearing the "next gen" Prius comes on Spring of 09.
      • 8 Years Ago
      No Thank you from me, I Won't be getting a prius in my life, there too small and there are not my style in my opinion, thankfully the escalade hybrid's coming very soon.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Who cars? It's a Toyota, a Prius no less.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Laughing too hard, your point is well taken that those interested in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions would do well to assess the totality of their lifestyle rather than focusing only on what they drive.

      You also make the useful point that folks should do a careful cost-benefit analysis before buying a Prius if lifecycle costs are a key consideration.

      That said, you doth protest too much. Most people don’t select a car purely on the economics. They want to make a statement of some kind – and are often willing to spend more to do it. I don’t see you complaining about folks who want to look cool in a 300C or Mustang.

      Hybrid technology holds promise for some types of uses. What’s the harm in gearheads helping further develop that technology by being early adopters?

      As for hybrid sales rising and falling with the price of gas, so what? The same could be said for other types of vehicles. And surely you don’t live in the fantasy world that gas will permanently fall back down to $2/gallon. Even the Not So Big 2.5 has given up on that hope.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Agree that Prius may have a long break-even point purely from a $$ saved=on=gas perspective. BUT, more important is the immediate impact: less emissions for everyone. Also imagine if only 10% of Californians had a Hybrid - gas companies would sure get that message. My wife's Prius (and it's silly because I have the commute and she works from home) will average out to about 50 mpg at 65 w/cruise control set, between San Fran and Sacramento. Pretty flat drive. Around SF proper, with all the hills, it will still turn in a respectable 44-47 mpg. I agree the 60 mpg is a farce. Interestingly, we have friends in Las Vegas, and in the summer when it's hot, their Prius shows a 10% improvement in mpg over the same driving vs. winter. If the '08 has LiOn and improved MPG, plus a solar option, I will buy one. My 1995 Camry 4 cylinder had 186,000 on it and still give me 27 mpg on the freeway. If I could only talk my wife out of the Prius more often...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Looks like a plywood mock-up from some low budget sci-fi movie.
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