Every generation of the Prius has one key element in common: it exceeded the fuel efficiency of the previous generation. The latest version of its Hybrid Synergy Drive combines the output of a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine and two motor/generators through an electronically controlled planetary-type continuously variable transmission (CVT). Shift-by-wire technology, which uses electric signals to transmit shift operations, offers light, fingertip operation from the dash-mounted shifter. The regenerative brake system switches the motor into a generator to recover the wheels’ kinetic energy as electrical power, storing it in the hybrid battery.
The fourth-generation Prius uses smaller, lighter hybrid components than before, including a lithium-ion hybrid battery that replaced the nickel-metal hydride battery (excluding the Prius One and Two standard grade). The battery’s smaller size and lower profile allow it to be packaged under the rear seat, rather than beneath the luggage area, yielding more cargo space. The Prius Two Eco grade provides the highest fuel efficiency thanks to its lighter weight and further optimized aerodynamics.
Test drive a Prius today at Thayer Toyota in Bowling Green!