Per l'anniversario arriva una versione speciale: ecco le tappe che hanno portato fino ad oggi la prima icona dell'elettrificazione

Una versione speciale per celebrare 20 anni di ibrido nel mondo. Questa è la Toyota Prius 2020 Edition che arriverà negli Stati Uniti, e sarà proposta in 2020 esemplari e deriva dal più ricco allestimento disponibile, denominato negli Stati Uniti XLE. Un successo iniziato in realtà in Giappone 23 anni fa, nel 1997, quando Toyota lanciò "in casa" la propria Prius.

La "prima"

Prius, ovvero "prima", dal latino prius, voleva mostrare come la Casa nipponica fosse giunta "prima" delle altre a produrre un veicolo del genere. In America ed in Europa appunto arrivò con il nuovo millennio, tre anni dopo.

Fotogallery: Toyota Prius, prima serie (1997)

Inizialmente fu introdotta silenziosamente nelle concessionarie. Era la prima ibrida in produzione al mondo, e probabilmente nemmeno ad Aichi si attendevano una evoluzione del genere. La Prius divenne poi negli anni il simbolo di una nuova propulsione, di un nuovo modo di intendere le automobili, e non a caso in circa 20 anni, ha venduto qualcosa come oltre 6 milioni di unità. 

Il progetto G21

Un progetto, in realtà, nato nel 1993. L'allora progetto G21 con in testa Takeshi Uchiyamada doveva avere l'obiettivo di migliorare di una volta e mezzo l'efficienza delle vetture a benzina dell'epoca.

Fotogallery: Toyota Prius, il prototipo del 1995

In poco si arrivò all'obiettivo di migliorare di due volte l'efficienza grazie alla tecnologia ibrida. Una vettura predisposta inizialmente con motore diesel, e successivamente, in fase di pre-produzione, arrivò il motore 1.5 VVT-i da 43 kW da utilizzare con un motore elettrico da 30 kW. Il debutto, come detto, arrivò in Giappone con lo slogan "Giusto in tempo per il 21° secolo".

 

Seconda e terza generazione

Il 2003 vede l'approdo della seconda generazione, denominata NWH20, con addirittura 530 brevetti a supporto. Aveva il sistema ibrido HSD, Hybrid Sinergy Drive, batterie al nichel-metallo idruro, ed una potenza più elevata: 57 kW per il propulsore 1.5 benzina, 50 kW per l'unità elettrica. Vinse il premio di auto dell'anno nel 2005.

Fotogallery: Toyota Prius, seconda serie (2003)

La terza generazione divenne la vettura dei record. Nacque nel 2009, debuttando al Naias di Detroit. Nome in codice ZVW30. Il motore sviluppava 60 kW, ma il benzina cambiava la sua struttura: 1.8 litri a ciclo Atkinson da 73 kW con pompa ad acqua elettrica e sistema di ricircolo del gas di scarico. Potenza che arriva a 100 kW e consumi dichiarati che si attestano a 38 km/l. In Giappone si attendevano 10.000 ordini circa. Ne arrivarono 180mila.

Fotogallery: Toyota Prius, terza serie (2009)

L'ultima generazione

Si arriva dunque alla quarta generazione, nata nel 2016 con la sigla di progetto XW50 e svelata il settembre prima a Las Vegas. E' la prima ad usare la piattaforma TNGA di Toyota, la Toyota New Global Architecture.

Si arriva a 40,8 km/litro ed emissioni abbattute a 70 g/km. 

Si arriva infine ad oggi, a festeggiare i 20 anni di ibrido nel mondo, con una versione speciale di questa Prius che ottiene una tinta rossa molto forte e di impatto, con rifiniture nere presenti sui cerchi e sui montanti centrali con un piccolo spoiler posteriore e ruote da 17 pollici con cerchi a cinque raggi.

Un modello chiamato Edition 2020 che avrà il servizio Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 incluso. Un sistema che include:

Fotogallery: Toyota Prius 2020 Edition

  • Sistema di pre-collisione con rilevamento pedonale in condizioni di scarsa luminosità
  • Sistema di controllo automatico della velocità radar radar a gamma completa
  • Rilevamento del ciclista
  • Avviso di partenza corsia
  • Abbaglianti automatici
  • Assistente ai segnali stradali
  • Il sistema di pre-collisione con rilevamento pedonale progettato per offrire la capacità di frenata automatica, in determinate condizioni, qualora il conducente non reagisca in tempo in una situazione di emergenza.

Sono di serie i monitor per punti ciechi con avviso di traffico trasversale posteriore e sonar di spazio intelligente con sistema di assistenza al parcheggio intelligente.

Inoltre per il 2021 ecco arrivare la compatibilità con Android Auto. Non resta che attendere la sua presentazione ufficiale il prossimo 18 maggio quando Bob Carter, vice presidente esecutivo delle vendite Toyota in America presenteranno anche due nuovissimi ibridi.

Fotogallery: Toyota Prius, quarta serie (2016)

Nascondi il comunicato stampaMostra il comunicato stampa

The Car That Changed an Industry: Toyota Marks 20th Anniversary of Prius With Special Anniversary Edition
May 11, 2020

2,020 Prius 2020 Editions to Be Offered
More Than 1.9 Million Prius Models Sold in U.S. Since 2000
Two Colors and Unique Blackout Trim and Features
New Toyota Safety Sense 2.0
Manufacturer Preliminary-Estimated 52 Combined MPG
One of 11 Toyota Electrified Models for 2021
Toyota to Reveal Two All-New Hybrid Models Monday, May 18 at 11:00 a.m. EDT
PLANO, Texas (May 11, 2020) – Twenty years ago, with the Y2K computer glitch reduced to the punchline of the year, technology in another corner took a mammoth leap as a small, unassuming sedan very quietly rolled into U.S. Toyota dealerships. The 2001 Toyota Prius, the world’s first production hybrid car, had arrived, and it would profoundly change the trajectory of automotive propulsion evolution.

Over the next two decades, Toyota would go on to sell more than 6 million Prius vehicles worldwide and more than 3.6 million total hybrid models (including Lexus) in the U.S. Toyota Prius sales in the U.S. reached 1.9 million through 2019, and the model name became synonymous with hybrid technology. (The original Prius went into production for the Japanese market in 1997.)

All of that is worth commemorating.

And so, Toyota is marking the special anniversary of the groundbreaking Prius, the foundational car of its global hybrid leadership, by offering the Prius 2020 Edition for model year 2021. Toyota will offer 2,020 of these special models, based on the well-equipped XLE FWD grade. Available in a choice of Supersonic Red or the new Wind Chill Pearl, the 2020 Edition features striking black exterior trim and unique features, including a color-keyed rear spoiler.

 

The 2020 Edition model includes black inserts for the 17-inch alloy wheels, blackout headlight components and trim, B-pillars and mirror housings. Unique to the Prius 2020 Edition are a “2020” insignia key glove/fob and floor mats, as well as black shift knob and interior A-pillar trim and smoked HVAC vents.

The overall look is both sporty and elegant, with just a touch of mischief. But there’s nothing mischievous about a car rated at a manufacturer preliminary-estimated 54 city MPG / 50 highway MPG / 52 combined MPG and equipped as standard with one of the auto industry’s most advanced driver-assist safety systems.

New for 2021: Toyota Safety Sense 2.0

The Prius, which already had Toyota Safety Sense (TSS-P) standard, steps up to the more capable TSS 2.0 for 2021. This latest version of the critical safety system includes:

Pre-Collision System with Low-Light Pedestrian Detection
Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
Bicyclist Detection
Lane Departure Alert
Automatic High Beams
Road Sign Assist
Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection is designed to offer automatic braking capability, under certain conditions, should the driver not react in time in an emergency situation. Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Intelligent Clearance Sonar with Intelligent Parking Assist are also standard.

Also for 2021, all but the Prius Limited add Android Auto compatibility. (Apple CarPlay compatibility was already standard on 2020 Prius models.)

The Prius mission was right in its name; it is Latin for “first” or “original,” and can also mean “to go before.” Now, look at all the hybrids that have come since.

The Prius is one of 10 Toyota hybrid models, and one of 11 electrified vehicles with Mirai, a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV), available for 2021. Others include the first-ever Corolla Hybrid, Camry Hybrid, RAV4 Hybrid, Avalon Hybrid, Highlander Hybrid, RAV4 Prime and Prius Prime.

The Shape of Progress

Its 2020 livery gives the 2021 Prius an added edge of distinction on the road. The unmistakable Prius silhouette is still the car’s signature design feature, made to cheat the wind with an ultra-low 0.24 coefficient of drag (Cd). An automatic grille shutter reduces aerodynamic drag by closing when airflow to the radiator is not needed.

Standard Bi-LED headlamps and LED rear combination lamps not only provide better light than halogens, but they also reduce energy consumption and give a longer service life. A full-width glass panel beneath the rear spoiler aids rearward visibility while also serving as a distinctive Prius design feature.

 

The foundation of Prius efficiency is the Toyota Hybrid System II. It operates much in the same fashion as the original hybrid system in the 2001 Prius, but is more compact, more powerful, and more fuel-efficient. In the Prius, the system combines the output of a high-efficiency 1.8-liter four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine with that of two motor-generators through an electronically controlled planetary-type continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The advanced Power Control Unit is the key to extracting the greatest efficiency from the powertrain. In most situations, the Prius launches on battery power alone and then seamlessly starts the gas engine and blends its output once underway, turning it off when its power is not needed.

Thanks to ultra-low internal friction and efficient combustion, the Prius gasoline engine exceeds 40 percent thermal efficiency. The air conditioning system, which uses a quiet electric compressor, works intelligently to maximize energy efficiency, with the Smart-flow (S-FLOW) mode directing airflow only to seated occupants to conserve energy.

More Room Than Some SUVs

The super-low-drag Prius shape is also highly practical. Thanks to its generous cabin room, the Prius is rated as a midsize car by the EPA. The front-wheel drive models, including the 2020 Edition, offer 50.7 cu. ft. of cargo space with the rear seatbacks folded down, which is more than in some small SUVs.

The Prius XLE grade on which the 2020 Edition model is based comes standard with 17-in. alloy wheels, Safety Connect; heated, SofTex®-trimmed 8-way power driver’s seat; SofTex-trimmed heated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; 3-door Smart Key system with Push Button Start; remote illuminated entry, rear wiper, and Qi wireless phone charging tray that accommodates larger phones.

The standard Toyota Audio system includes a 7-in. touch-screen display; AM/FM CD player; 6 speakers; Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa compatibility; auxiliary audio jack, one USB 2.0 port with iPod® connectivity and two 2.1-amp USB charge ports; advanced voice recognition; Bluetooth® hands-free phone capability, phone book access and music streaming; Siri® Eyes Free, and an integrated backup camera display.

 

All Prius models share the familiar central screen interface, a signature feature in every Prius since the original. The 4.2-in. color Dual Multi-Information Display with customizable screens includes Energy Monitor and Hybrid System Indicator with Eco Score, Eco Savings Record, Drive Monitor, Eco Wallet, and Eco Diary features, plus displays for climate control, driver support systems, audio system content, and the navigation system.

First Generation: A Huge Leap in Fuel Efficiency

That original Prius combined output of a 70-hp gas engine and 44-hp electric drive motor. A second electric motor-generator served as the starter for the gas engine and also generated electricity for the drive motor and nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery pack.

The first Prius achieved EPA estimated 42 city MPG / 41 highway MPG / 41 combined MPG. The higher figure for city driving reflected the hybrid powertrain making greatest use of the battery and electric motor in urban driving. The first Prius also used an auto stop/start system to shut off the gas engine at stoplights under certain circumstances. Such systems have since become commonplace, including for non-hybrids.

Second-Generation: A Huge Leap in Everything

Arriving as a 2004 model, the second-generation Prius arrived introduced a radical-looking and roomy liftback body, which established the basic design silhouette for the Prius going forward. The clever design yielded the room of a midsize sedan in a compact package, also with generous luggage/cargo room.

A new brake-by-wire system improved regeneration and brake feel. A new air conditioning system used an electric compressor, which allowed it to operate without the gas engine running. Even with its gain in power and larger body for the second-generation model, its combined fuel economy jumped by 12 percent to 46 MPG.

Third Generation: 50 MPG and a New Family

The Prius marked its 10th anniversary in the U.S. with an all-new third generation model, gaining more power and higher fuel efficiency. Its 50 combined MPG was a new milestone. This generation also brought new models, including the first Prius Plug-in Hybrid, a new compact Prius c for under $20,000 and a new, larger Prius v with crossover-like room and versatility. Prius models began offering Pre-Collision Braking and other advanced safety tech.

Fourth Generation: More Choices, Higher Efficiency

Based on the Toyota New Global Architecture-K platform (TNGA-K), the fourth-generation Prius is the most efficient and quietest in its history. The fourth-gen Prius introduced the top-of-line Prius Prime plug-in hybrid (PHEV), the Prius L ECO, and the Prius AWD-e model with all-wheel drive.

Two More Electrified Vehicles to be Revealed

Toyota will introduce two all-new hybrids during the Toyota 2020 New Product Showcase at the link below Monday, May 18 at 11:00 a.m. EDT. The reveal will be hosted by Bob Carter, Toyota’s executive vice president of sales, and Jack Hollis, group vice president and general manager, Toyota division.