Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

2006 Safety and Comfort Enhancements

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Posted by mrv@kluge.net on October 7, 2005, 9:28 pm
I found this buried at the Toyota Pressroom, from 9/12/2005:


Toyota Prius, The Most Fuel-Efficient Midsize Car in America, Receives
Safety and Comfort Enhancements for 2006

09/12/2005 Torrance, CA

Toyota has boosted production to keep up with demand for the Toyota
Prius, the best-selling gas-electric hybrid vehicle in the United
States and the world. The 2006 model benefits from the addition of new
advanced airbags and other safety technology, plus new comfort and
convenience features.

Introduced for the 2004 model year, the second-generation Toyota Prius
is the most fuel-efficient midsize sedan in America. The Prius delivers
on the promise of exceptional fuel efficiency without compromising
performance, comfort and safety.

In 2005, Prius was joined in the Toyota lineup by a second hybrid
model, the Highlander Hybrid seven-passenger sport-utility vehicle.

Already featuring a high level of safety technology, Prius gains even
more for 2006. The new advanced airbag system uses variable-force front
airbags for both driver and front passenger. Sensors determine the
severity of the impact and in turn the force with which to deploy the
front airbags, helping to provide an appropriate level of occupant

A Tire Pressure Monitoring System can detect a significant loss in
pressure in one or more tires and alert the driver by a warning light.

A new optional rear back-up camera, available with the optional
Navigation system, automatically projects an image of what the lens can
detect behind the vehicle onto the dash-mounted LCD display when the
vehicle is in reverse gear.

Outside, the 2006 Prius features restyled headlights and taillight
clusters. Inside, new darker seat fabric and a textured instrument
panel center accent the high-tech interior styling. Prius offers
enhanced comfort with the new option of leather seating (choice of two
colors) and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Customers can also order
a new audio system upgrade that features MP3-media capability and a
mini-jack port located in the center console. The mini-jack port allows
connectivity to most portable music players and allows users to listen
to their portable music collection through the JBL audio system.

"With the tremendous success of the Prius, the introduction of the
Highlander Hybrid and more hybrid models to come, Toyota has become the
clear leader in this fuel-conserving technology," said Jim Lentz,
Toyota Division group vice president and general manager. "Toyota
hybrid vehicles deliver outstanding fuel efficiency without sacrificing
the performance, comfort and features that customers expect."

The second generation Prius was the first Toyota product to employ
Hybrid Synergy Drive?, the company's third-generation gas-electric
hybrid powertrain technology. This system gives the Prius acceleration
comparable to a four-cylinder, automatic transmission midsize car, with
zero-to-60 mph acceleration in about 10 seconds.

Prius not only provides the best fuel efficiency ratings of any midsize
vehicle sold in America, but returns an even higher combined mileage
rating than any compact sedan sold in America.
Hybrid Synergy Drive yields exceptional fuel efficiency in the Prius,
with estimated EPA ratings of 60 mpg in city driving, 51 mpg on the
highway and 55 mpg in combined driving. The seemingly "reversed"
city/highway figures reflect the unique powertrain that's optimized for
maximum efficiency in the kind of slow-and-go driving that most urban
commuters experience.

The Prius (the name comes from the Latin "to go before") was named
"North American Car of The Year" for 2004 and claimed the top honors in
the "2004 International Engine of the Year" competition. Dramatic
Design with Outstanding Utility The Prius rides on a midsize platform,
with a 106.3-inch wheelbase that allows generous interior room and a
smooth ride. The five-door liftback design not only looks like nothing
else on the road, it is also one of the most aerodynamic production
vehicles in America. Its super-low 0.26 coefficient of drag (Cd) helps
to minimize interior noise and enhance fuel mileage.

With its striking "monoform" design, the boldly styled Prius provides
enough passenger and cargo space to be classified as a midsize car:
96.2 cubic feet of passenger room compared to 101.7 cubic feet for the
Toyota Camry. The rear seat in Prius provides a generous 38.6 inches of

Rear cargo room measures 16.1 cubic feet, nearly as much as the Camry
trunk capacity. The liftback design, combined with the standard 60/40
split fold-down rear seatbacks, gives the Prius outstanding cargo
capacity and flexibility.

Hybrid Synergy Drive
Hybrid Synergy Drive is defined as a "full hybrid system," which means
it is capable of operating in gas or electric modes, as well as a mode
that combines the power of the gas engine and electric motor.

Hybrid Synergy Drive combines a 1.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson Cycle
gasoline engine and an electric drive motor. The gasoline engine
produces 76 horsepower and 82 lb.-ft. of torque. As on all other Toyota
passenger car engines, Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i)
helps to optimize power delivery across the engine speed range.

The permanent-magnet electric drive motor produces its maximum power of
50 kW (67 horsepower) from 1,200~1,540 RPM, and peak torque of 295
lb.-ft. from 0~1,200 RPM (compared to 33 kW / 44 hp and 258 lb.-ft. for
the previous model). The Prius produces 110 horsepower combined with
its gas engine and electric motor.

The electronic planetary gear-type continuously variable transmission
does not have fixed gear ratios, but rather provides infinitely
variable ratios in response to driving conditions. A regenerative
braking system further boosts system efficiency. When the Prius is
coasting or the brakes are applied, the electric motor functions as a
generator, capturing kinetic energy that would normally be lost as heat
through the brakes and transforming it into useable electricity to
recharge the batteries.

Driving Prius
One of the most remarkable features of the Toyota Prius is what the
driver does not feel. The computer-controlled powertrain seamlessly
blends power from the gasoline engine, the electric drive motor and the
generator. The driver typically does not feel the vehicle changing
operational modes.

The Prius uses an electronically controlled by-wire throttle, which
provides greater precision than a conventional cable-type throttle
set-up. A by-wire shift control replaces the traditional gearshift
lever and allows tap-of-the-finger shifting using a small joystick
mounted on the dash.

The driver can monitor electric-gas power distribution through the
Hybrid Synergy Drive system on the standard seven-inch touch-panel
display monitor. This screen also displays navigation information on
vehicles equipped with the optional navigation system.

The Most Stringent Emissions Certification
Hybrid Synergy Drive reduces the already scant emissions over the
previous-generation Prius by an additional 30 percent. That equates to
producing nearly 90 percent fewer smog forming emissions than a
conventional internal combustion engine vehicle. The Prius has been
certified as a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) in California
and those states adopting California standards. In the rest of the
country, Prius is certified as Tier 2, Bin 3.

In addition, in California and states adopting the California rules,
Prius is certified as an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions
Vehicle (AT-PZEV). The AT-PZEV certification requires the SULEV exhaust
standard linked with the ability to meet a zero-fuel-evaporative
standard, a 150,000-mile durability demonstration, extended emissions
system warranty, and technology deemed by the California Air Resources
Board (CARB) to advance future fuel cell vehicles.

Designed to easily accommodate a family of five, Prius is also
engineered to provide the level of safety a family car buyer demands.
Passive safety features include front seatbelts with pre-tensioners and
force limiters, three-point seatbelts for all rear seating positions
and advanced dual front airbags. Driver and passenger side and side
curtain airbags are available as an option.

The driver and passenger advanced dual-stage front airbags inflate
according to collision severity. A front seat passenger sensor is
designed to determine if there is a person in the seat and is also
equipped with an occupant classification system to verify the front
passengers' weight category to determine whether the airbag should

Prius also features a high level of dynamic driving control. The
standard anti-lock brake system (ABS) integrates Brake Assist and
Electronic Brake-force Distribution, which can help apply maximum
braking pressure in an emergency stop.

Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) is available as an option. VSC helps
keep the vehicle going on its intended course by detecting front-wheel
slide and rear-wheel slide during cornering and attempting to control
either condition with torque intervention and/or by braking individual

Premium Amenities
The Prius offers the amenities expected in the midsize class, plus some
available options more commonly found in luxury models. The standard
automatic air conditioning system uses an electric-powered air
compressor. Not only does this improve fuel efficiency, it ensures
passenger comfort even when the car is running only on the electric

The steering wheel features fingertip controls for both the air
conditioning and the AM/FM/CD audio system with six speakers, so that
the driver does not have to divert attention from the road to change
settings for these systems. Rear intermittent wiper, cabin air
filtration, cruise control, heated side mirrors, power windows and door
locks and remote keyless entry are all standard on the Prius, making it
an outstanding value in comparison to any car in its price segment.

The high efficiency of the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive enables Prius to
offer a wide array of comfort and convenience options. Available
options include an auto-dimming rear view mirror, anti-theft system,
fog lights, garage door opener, high-intensity discharge (HID)
headlights, navigation system and a JBL Premium AM/FM/CD audio system
with nine speakers.

The optional JBL audio system integrates Bluetooth technology, which
provides a hands-free communication system. Cellular phones with
built-in Bluetooth compatibility allow the driver and passengers to
make and receive hands-free calls. A call can be dialed by using the
multi-information display screen's keypad, and incoming calls can be
answered and ended by pushing a button located on the steering wheel.
When a call comes in, the audio system is automatically muted, so the
driver or passenger does not have to fumble with radio controls. The
Prius stereo speakers act as the phone receiver and transmitter.

With the optional Smart Key, the driver carries a light, compact key
fob. When the driver pulls the door handle, an on-board sensor
recognizes the signal from a key in his pocket and automatically
unlocks the doors. Having been security-cleared, the driver merely
pushes a "power" button located on the dash, taps the gear-selector and
drives away.

Long Warranty Protection
Toyota's 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all
components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional
60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and against
corrosion with no mileage limitation. The hybrid-related components,
including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module
and inverter with converter, are covered for eight years/100,000 miles.
Prius also comes with seven-day/24-hour roadside assistance for 36

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