One of the most urgent technological areas in the world automotive industry is the introduction of "green" technologies. Even effective security systems and cutting-edge electronic assistants pale against the background of the advantages that electric and hybrid concepts open. And it's not just about minimizing the level of pollution of the environment. The refusal or, at least, the reduction in the consumption of traditional fuel is beneficial for the motorists themselves, who can expect considerable savings. True, the word "economy" is still reluctant to combine with the prices of energy-saving models. Most of the offers of this class are available to the Russian consumer for 2-3 million rubles. In this context, the choice of such a car as the Toyota-Prius-Hybrid, whose photo is presented below, is very attractive.
The model is proposed with an initial price tag of 1.2 million rubles. Of course, this cost can not be called affordable to a mass car enthusiast, but a reduction in fuel consumption for long-term operation will justify investments. Moreover, the buyer receives not just a model with an unusual power plant, but a high-quality Japanese car with a hint of premium.
General information about the model
The fashion for hybrid models and electric cars from manufacturers arose in the early 2000s. Of course, some developments in this field existed before, but their actual embodiment in the concepts occurred only in the last 15 years. In turn, the Japanese manufacturer became one of the pioneers in the segment, releasing a hybrid model back in 1997. However, in the world market the car appeared only three years later. At the same time, the same device was retained - the Toyota-Prius-Hybrid 2000 under the hood contains four components: a traditional ICE, an electric motor, a high-voltage battery and a motor generator. As you can see, the model combines elements from different configurations of the power plant, including the classic internal combustion engine, and the battery.
In terms of appearance, the car can be attributed to the golf class. Although large manufacturers are keen to supply hybrid installations with extremely expensive luxury versions, the Japanese preferred a class that is close to the general consumer. Actually, this is the reason for the comparatively affordable price of the Toyota-Prius-Hybrid car, the owner's feedback on which is very favorable with respect to the version for 1.2 million rubles, but they also note the wealth of optional equipment in more expensive versions for 2 million rubles .
Principle of operation of the basic version
Engineers offer two approaches to implementing a hybrid design. In the first variant, the motion and control of the machine are provided by an electric motor, and the ICE only supplies the battery. The second option allows for the equivalent use of both generators. The first two generations of the Japanese model showed the possibility and effectiveness of combining both concepts. To understand how the "Toyota-Prius-Hybrid" in the classic version works, it is worth considering the power installation Synergy Drive. The complex includes a gasoline engine for 78 liters. from. And a battery-powered 68-liter electric motor. from. Together, this ensures maximum return. You can control this potential with four modes. At the time of start-up, the installation of the internal combustion engine is switched off, and the electric motor takes over the main drive function of the machine. As the power increases, the situation changes: the activity of the battery decreases, and the gasoline unit comes into play.
The principle of the third generation
Despite the increase in power, the third generation of the model was distinguished by a high level of fuel efficiency. The version received a 1.8-liter "four", the scheme of which is based on the Atkinson cycle. As the original device assumes, the Toyota Prius Hybrid also received a battery that is operated as needed. The features of the third generation also include the use of an electric pump for cooling and an improved system for ensuring the recirculation of exhaust. As for driving modes, in this case, there are three ways. The first mode (EV) is designed to drive in a low speed range with the battery connected. Then follows the enhanced mode, allowing to increase the sensitivity of the accelerator for the sporting nature of the ride. The most economical is the Eco Mode, which achieves the most rational ratio of the energy expended and the power demand of the car during the movement.
Technical parameters of the model
With all the features of the internal filling, the platform and the basic construction of the car are made according to the traditional scheme. At the same time, the exterior looks rather unusual, which, in turn, gives one more highlight to the Toyota-Prius-Hybrid car. The technical characteristics of the model look like this:
- The body of the hybrid - hatchback 5-door.
- The length is 445 cm.
- The width is 172.5 cm.
- The height is 149 cm.
- The volume of the luggage compartment is a minimum of 408 liters.
- Wheelbase - 270 cm.
- The rear track is 148 cm.
- The front track is 150.5 cm.
- The ground clearance is 14.5 cm.
- Suspension - spring independent in front and semi-independent from the rear.
- The transmission is a direct planetary gear.
- Brakes are disc brakes.
The manufacturer uses batteries from companies NiMH and Panasonic, which are given 8 years of warranty. Actually, thanks to these elements, the economy of the modification of the Toyota-Prius-Hybrid is ensured. The technical characteristics of the batteries used are as follows:
- Capacity - from 6 to 21 Ah.
- The time to complete the charge is 90 minutes.
- Weight - from 45 to 80 kg, depending on the version.
- The number of modules in the battery is from 28 to 40.
- The number of segments in the module is 6.
- The voltage in the segment is 1.2 V.
- The total voltage is from 206 to 288 V.
- The spare energy of the battery is a maximum of 4.4 kWh.
Technological features of operation
In the view of most motorists, the main difference between hybrid models is their economy. Nevertheless, there are other nuances of exploitation that the Toyota-Prius-Hybrid possesses. The principle of operation, in particular, stipulates a rather high level of automation of management, which should be prepared. For example, the on-board computer independently regulates the parameters of the engine, thus ensuring the optimal battery charge. So, when the car stops, the system activates the regenerative braking, thanks to which the battery is recharged automatically.
Other useful solutions are also offered, including the distance control sensor, automatic seat belt tensioning, seat adjustment and optimal adjustment of the pedal sensitivity in the Toyota-Prius-Hybrid. The owner's feedback is highly appreciated and the work of intelligent assistants, which allow you to park easily, use a rear-view camera.
Even against the background of other representatives of the hybrid segment, the Japanese model demonstrates good economy figures. In the city, the car in the basic version consumes about 8 liters, and outside the city and even less - 5.5 liters. In addition, in terms of emissions of harmful substances used by Japanese engines significantly exceed the standards of "Euro-4". At the same time, the third generation has even less fuel consumption. "Toyota-Prius-Hybrid" in this performance when driving through the city demonstrates consumption at 4.9 liters, and on the road - 4.6 liters. This achievement was made possible not only by the power plant. To cover the consumption of gasoline from the increased engine power, engineers used heavy-duty aluminum alloys in the design. This allowed to reduce the mass of the hybrid, which is 1.5 tons.
The wide spread of "green" technologies in the automotive industry is hampered by two factors hampering demand. Among them, as already noted, the price, as well as modest high-speed performance. However, the Japanese manufacturer was able to get rid of these shortcomings, as evidenced by the dynamic response: "Toyota-Prius-Hybrid" has a decent maximum speed of 170 km / h and a good acceleration - up to 100 km / h "Chinese" is accelerated in 11 seconds.
In part, such a high index of the hybrid is due to the lightweight design, but it is not necessary to exclude the influence of the technological features of the model. For example, a taut electromotor provides a quick response, and the absence of a traditional gearbox allows optimizing the interaction between the driver and the power plant. Also, do not forget about the electronic systems that complement the car park for the car "Toyota-Prius-Hybrid". The feedback of the owners speaks about the practical benefits of assistants in the process of moving. They not only enhance safety, but also facilitate the management of the hybrid.
Plans for further development of the hybrid
In the development of new modifications, the company focuses on several areas. The most important at the moment is to improve the aerodynamic qualities of the model. The work on this part is carried out by designers who design the exterior. In the first generations, the creators managed to achieve a significant result in the form of a reduction in the coefficient of aerodynamic resistance, which is now optimal for the Toyota-Prius-Hybrid model. The principle of operation based on alternative power sources will also develop, including through solar panels. Engineers are actively engaged in designing the ways of their installation on the roof. As expected, due to this element, the car will be able to operate the climate control system.
Positive owners feedback
Most positive feedback about the model is due to the advantages that the power plant provided. Compared with traditional gasoline cars, this car is much more economical in operation. And it's not just a reduction in fuel costs for a five-door, like the Toyota-Prius-Hybrid. The owners' feedback indicates that the model does not often require oil change, and also eliminates the repair of the starter and generator, which are simply missing under the hood. In addition, the advantages of the car in terms of equipping with the latest optional devices are noted.
It is worth noting the advantages of the car in terms of operation in Russia. What is especially pleasant for the domestic car owner: even severe frosts do not affect the performance of the crossover Toyota-Prius-Hybrid. Reviews of the owners in winter confirm that the car starts without any problems and requires only heating the cabin for a comfortable trip.
Of course, the high cost of many repels from such a purchase. Although against the background of other hybrids this option can be called the most affordable, yet this car is more expensive than gasoline analogues. There is also criticism about the problems of recycling spent batteries of a hybrid, but these problems are more of a concern for environmental organizations, rather than car owners.
In the Russian market there are no models in the segment of "green" cars, which could make a full-fledged competition to the Japanese development. Not without reason, the reviews on the Toyota-Prius-Hybrid are, in their mass, positive shades. The car is characterized by economy in operation and maintenance, but at the same time it provides practically all the functionality that conventional gasoline models have. Of course, with the purchase will have to prepare a large amount of money, but the hybrid with long-term operation itself will certainly pay off. New technologies are expensive, but the benefits of switching to more advanced means of transportation can not be overestimated.