With 700,000 Toyota Prius models currently on the road in the United States, Toyota today launched the third generation of the car that started it all.
The 2010 Prius will get better fuel economy and more power. Incredibly, Toyota has raised the mpg rating from 46 mpg in the current model to 50 mpg in this third generation vehicle. And that's not 50 mpg highway either, it is the combined figure for city and highway driving.
This was achieved due to several innovations and updates, including the use of a larger 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and smaller and lighter generator, motor and inverter.
The new engine makes 98hp and the electric addition of 36hp horsepower raises the total to 134hp. Gasoline torque is rated at 105 ft-lbs with 153 electric ft-lbs of torque. Not only does the larger, more powerful engine reduce highway fuel consumption by allowing the engine to rev lower but the added power also increases performance. The new Prius will best the 10.5 second 0-60 mph time of its predecessor with a 9.8 second time.
More: World Premiere: 2010 Toyota Prius on AutoGuide.com