Toyota Prius Engine
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The Toyota Prius has been around since 1997 as a hybrid but was not in the US market until 2001. The first generation used a 1.5 liter 1NZF gasoline engine and an elect assist motor. The Prius size wise was between the Toyota Corolla and the Toyota Camry. The Prius transmission is CVT type and the only option offered. These early model cars all offered air conditioning from the factory.
The reason it took so long for the Prius to come to the US is the average amount of distance Americans drive. In 2004-2008 the 1.5 liter engine carried the same 1NZF but was designed differently. The electric assist motor also carried major upgrades. The CVT transmission has major design differences as well.
The 2009 to present are built to compete more with the Honda Insight. Toyota also upgraded the 1.5 liter engine to a new 1.8 liter engine and an electric water pump. It is also a first that requires no accessory belt to run the bolt on parts which adds to the efficiency of the car. Even the drivetrain is about 20% lighter with the new motor, inverter and transmission.
When building the new Prius the plastics have been updated. The Prius now uses a new bioplastic that is plant derived instead of a petroleum product. This is a renewable clean source and Toyota is very excited to participate. The plants used are kenaf and ramie as the main crops. The Kenaf is from the hibiscus family and the ramie is most known as China grass. Kenaf is a very strong fiber with a very good density and absorbency.
The 2011-2012 Prius offers the Toyota Entune package which is connectivity for personal devices like a cell phone. Also, it now has a port for an iPod and a 6.1 inch touchscreen for navigation.