Toyota Motor Co. on Wednesday announced the sale the one-millionth sale of the Toyota Prius, the world’s first mass-produced hybrid gas-electric vehicle, in the United States.
Sales of the gasoline-electric hatchback, first sold in the U.S. in 2000, reached the volume goal on April 5, Toyota said late yesterday at a conference in La Jolla, California.
“Prius has become synonymous with the word hybrid and as we see fuel prices starting to rise again, it has accounted for more than 60 percent of hybrid passenger car sales so far this year,” said Bob Carter, group vice president of the Toyota Division.
The third-generation Prius topped the EPA’s list of the Most Fuel Efficient Vehicles for 2011. It has been named the Best Overall Value of the Year for the last nine years in a row by IntelliChoice, and has the highest owner loyalty of any mid-size vehicle for four of the last five years according to R.L. Polk. More than 97 percent of all Toyota Prii sold since 2000 are still on the road the company said in a statement.
The third-generation Prius is 4,460mm long, 1,745mm wide and 1,490mm high. Its wheelbase measures 2,700mm, which is slightly longer than a conventional compact car.
The Prius now comes with a modern design that also displays an environmental theme. Within this design, Toyota says, are various measures to help lower fuel consumption, such as minimising aerodynamic drag both around the car and beneath it.
The new Prius’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system is mated to a 1.8-litre lean-burning Atkinson-cycle petrol engine. The DOHC 16-valve engine is capable of producing 99 horsepower at 5,200rpm and 142Nm of torque at 4,000rpm, while the electric motor can produce 82 horsepower and 207Nm of torque. All the power and torque – a combined 136 horsepower, Toyota claims – is transmitted via a continuously variable transmission.