Fuel-efficient, low emissions driving does not have to confine the motorist to a one-size-fits-all driving style. Thanks to Toyota innovation, the new third-generation Toyota Prius comes equipped with three selectable 'on-demand' driving modes that let the driver make the most of different driving conditions.These include an EV (electric vehicle) mode that allows the car to run for certain distances purely on electric power, cutting fuel consumption and emissions to zero. Ideal for slow moving urban traffic.
And for those owners who want to keep a close eye on achieving consistently fuel-efficient performance, a multi-function Eco Drive Monitor keeps them informed of how the hybrid system is operating and the level of efficiency, moment by moment. Details can even be projected on to the windscreen using the new head-up display that's a standard feature of all new Toyota Prius models.
These features form part of an extensive package of advanced equipment that reinforces the new Toyota Prius' position as the most technically advanced family car you can buy, a model that's brimming with technology, but which is supremely user-friendly and easy to drive.
Three On Demand Drive Modes
The Toyota Prius' transmission is supplemented by three 'on-demand' drive modes the driver can select to increase efficiency, performance and fuel economy.
From start-up and at speeds less than 44mph, the Toyota Prius automatically operates in EV mode, using electric motor power alone. The petrol engine is only introduced under hard acceleration to boost system power.
The driver can also use a switch to activate EV mode manually. This is a function unique to the full hybrid technology of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive and is not available in mild hybrid vehicles.
In EV mode, Toyota Prius owners can drive around town with minimal noise, zero CO2 and NOx emissions, and at speeds of up to 31mph, for up to two kilometres, according to the level of battery charge. Because the petrol engine is switched off, EV mode contributes to a significant reduction in overall fuel consumption.
In ECO mode, throttle response to aggressive accelerator pedal input is reduced and air conditioning control is adjusted to support better fuel economy. According to driving conditions and the ambient temperature, ECO mode can help the driver reduce fuel consumption by 10 to 15 per cent, when used in conjunction with the ECO Drive Monitor.
POWER mode modifies response to throttle inputs by up to 25 per cent, boosting power to improve acceleration and increase driving pleasure. Under a 50 per cent throttle, the Toyota Prius acceleration time from 31 to 50mph (50 to 80km/h) is improved by 1.7 seconds to 4.11 seconds.
Eco Drive Monitor
The Eco Drive Monitor is designed to help drivers make the most of Hybrid Synergy Drive's fuel efficiency, using a range of four status displays on the dashboard.
The Energy Monitor shows the current operating conditions of the engine and the flow of electric power. Working in real time, it helps the driver understand the basic energy flow through the Hybrid Synergy Drive system.
A new Consumption Monitor displays fuel consumption and energy recovery levels at one and five-minute intervals, so drivers have instant feedback on the fuel efficiency of their driving style.
The new Toyota Prius will go on sale in the UK from 1st August 2009.Published 2 June 2009