Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Hybrid Cars Toyota Prius

by lar

The Toyota Prius hybrid car was first introduced as a production model in Japan in 1997, and then in the US in 2000. It has taken the green motoring world by storm and is the most popular hybrid car around. Even Hollywood film stars like Cameron Diaz are getting in on the act and increasing their green credentials by owning a Toyota Prius hybrid car.

This small, though not unworkably so, symbol of automotive innovation is fast becoming the ultimate environmentally awareness fashion accessory. But the Toyota Prius hybrid car is far more than just an ecological accoutrement. It is the first and still leader in its field. The demand for this vehicle is so great that Toyota is even now trying to keep up with the orders.

The twin power units in this hybrid car comprise of a highly fuel efficient 1.5 liter 4 cylinder gas engine that produces 76 bhp. This is used mainly for powering the vehicle at higher speeds when a steady load on the engine enhances the fuel economy of the engine. This is one of the most advanced hybrid car engines around and is very economical when used in conjunction with a light foot on the gas pedal. It produces a torque figure of 82 Ib. ft at 4200 revs. The pistons in the Toyota Prius hybrid car are highly engineered to be lighter than average for an engine of this size. They also have a very low drag producing less friction and more efficient use of power. They also have vale timing that varies according to the load on the engine and allows the most economical use of the gas.

The hybrid cars electric motor is supplied with power by a battery with a 500-volt output and produces 295-lb ft at 0 rpm. The electric motor is primarily used at low speeds and acceleration and with this amount of power available it is no slouch when pulling of from the lights. But neither is it a Porsche. Don’t expect to be left behind at the lights but also don’t expect everyone else to be eating your dust. That is not what hybrid cars are about. Though that is not to say that in the future that a sports car manufacturer will not move into the hybrid cars market.

This combination of efficient gas engine and electric motors in the Toyota Prius hybrid car can produce very good fuel economy. The light-footed driver should be able to easily achieve figures of around 50 to 55 mpg around town. And up to and maybe even exceeding 60 mpg on the open road.

Although not a large hybrid car it seats 5 people comfortably enough, although when fully loaded the suspension can appear a little on the soft side. It is also no small load carrier with a usable trunk space of over 16 cubic feet, much larger than the old Prius could boast. The impressively aerodynamically efficient hybrid car shape can mean that headroom in the back of the car can be a bit low for tall passengers.

Hybrid cars have all the extras that are expected in a quality car today. GPS, keyless entry, good sound system, and special “head curtain” airbags that allow the rear seat passengers to benefit from air bag technology as well as the front. It also has a very useful computer display on the dashboard that allows you to see which engine is providing the power and how efficiently it is working. This means you can adjust your driving to get the optimum mpg from your hybrid car.

Overall the Toyota Prius is a very impressive venture by a major manufacturer into the world of hybrid cars and contains all the elements that the average driver could want in terms of fuel economy, comfort, so long as you are not a basketball player, and equipment. The new model Toyota Prius hybrid car that is soon to be available looks even better so it may be worth holding back for a while.

Larry Westfall is the owner of

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Courtesy of:Asian_daily

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