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Toyota's own Jon F. Thompson, editor of the Open Road blog, has taken the time to explain one of the things that makes the engine of the Toyota Prius different than most other sedans. Sure, it's powered both by an electric motor and an internal combustion engine, but there is something a bit different about this particular four cylinder in that it runs the Atkinson cycle. Other hybrids, such as the Escape hybrid SUV, also run this cycle, which differs in a few important ways from the more traditional Otto cycle. Click here for the entire piece at the Toyota blog. For those who just want the basics, the Atkinson features a longer power stroke than the compression stroke by keeping the intake valve open longer than is normal. Although some of the fuel is pushed back through the intake, overall economy is increased. Toyota combines the Atkinson cycle with am electric motor assist, CVT transmission and variable valve technology. Isn't learning fun?

[Source: Toyota]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      To extract all we can out of the IC engine (before Lithium batteries spoil our fun) - Atkinson is the way to go - but keep it simple (and highly effective)..... have a look at MECXIC.com - adresses all the Atkinson problems with a neat solution.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks like they invented a robot with a mustache and a hat.
      • 5 Years Ago
      To Mr Jeremy Korzeniewski "some fuel is pushed back through the intake" is not strictly true - modern engines run on fuel injection (especially diesels !) - sothe Atkinson cycle as proposed via inlet valve opening in fact only dumps intake air back out of the cylinders.....
      • 6 Years Ago
      am I the only one who thinks that motor looks like a scary robot?
      • 6 Years Ago
      So the Prius engine is on the Atkinson diet?
      • 1 Year Ago
      The link to Toyota Press is not working, try this instead. http://pressroom.toyota.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=2722