The third generation Toyota Prius is now available.
Although early reports once indicated that the new hybrid drive would offer lithium-ion batteries,("We will change the battery from nickel hydride to the lithium battery," CEO Katsuaki Watanabe told Business Week last year.) the 2010 Prius continues to use a NiMH battery pack.
However, the new NiMH battery pack has been improved (eventually, however, the 3rd gen Prius could utilize a lithium battery pack).
Likewise, the standard 2010 Toyota Prius is not yet a plug-in hybrid, although Toyota will begin production on a plug-in version of the Prius by 2012. Unfortunately, details are limited on the plug-in version as Toyota hammers out the final details of its plug-in plans/>
The 2010 Toyota Prius, aka, third gen Prius, uses an almost completely redevoloped hybrid drive.
Likewise, while the second generation Prius used a 1.5 liter Atkinson cycle engine, the new Prius uses a 1.8L DOHC 16-Valve VVT-i 1.8L Atkinson cycle engine that provides quicker performance and greater fuel economy, especially on the highway.
2010 Toyota Prius - interior design, detailing and features
The battery pack in the 2010 Prius is relatively the same in terms of voltage, but the new battery back has been reduced in size and repositioned, while increasing efficieny. Thanks to this reduction, cabin room and cargo space have been increased. (The battery is warranted at 10 years/150,000 miles.)
2010 Toyota Prius: Audio System
The new Prius adds an additional driving mode, rather than just normal and eco.
EV Mode helps the 2010 Prius stay in electric mode for about a mile at speeds less than 25 mph. ECO and Power modes are pretty obvious, but it is worth noting that ECO mode is great for those whom drive in snow and ice.
Driving Madame GPS
In terms of Packaging, the new Prius offers a number of new features and options, such as an Advanced Technology Package that includes a Pre-collision system, Lane Keep Assist, and Intelligent Parking Assist, as well as and a Solar Roof Package.
2010 Toyota Prius: Fuel Filler Door & Gas Cap
The Solar Roof Package does not charge the battery to extend the fuel efficiency of the Prius, rather the solar roof is used for ventilation and air conditioning.
2010 Toyota Prius-III Interior features and controls
So, the new Prius offers a bit more room, especially in the cabin and cargo areas, while also offering better performance and fuel economy. Additionally, the Prius will offer a host of new features for technology fans.
2010 Prius waiting lists?
Toyota planned a 60 percent increase in Prius production for 2009, but the production increase has been hampered by battery shortages.
So, supplies of the new third generation Prius have been an issue at some dealerships. Fortunately, markups do not appear to be common at this time.
Toyota has claimed that the future could hold multiple derivatives of the Prius, and a larger Prius - in addition to the smaller Prius. Both a smaller Prius and a larger Prius have made auto show appearances.
So Prius derivatives built upon the third generation, 2010 Prius are expected in the near future.