21
August
2012
|
02:00
Europe/Amsterdam

Prius plug-in hybrid 2012 dpl: a unique driving experience

&bull A relaxed, ultra-quiet and range-anxiety-free driving experience

&bull Enhanced Eco driving modes with approximately 25 km EV mode range

&bull PHEV-specific Eco Drive Support Monitor with comprehensive displays to help users maximise HSD efficiency

and EV driving range

&bull Revised suspension and Electric Power Steering (EPS) systems

The new Prius Plug-in Hybrid offersdrivers a unique, truly 21st century driving experience. It combines seamlessacceleration and remarkably quiet operation over an extended EV range withunparalleled fuel efficiency and the lowest possible emissions.

The unique characteristics of Toyota'sfull hybrid powertrain require no change in driving style or behaviour, yet canhelp users maximise the benefits of Hybrid Synergy Drive® through numerous, PHEV-specific,driving support monitors.

Moreover, the new Toyota PHEV'scapacity for long range driving in full hybrid mode once the extended EV rangehas been expended totally removes the range anxiety which has come to typifythe driving of fully electric vehicles to date.

EnhancedEco Driving Experience

The Prius Plug-in Hybrid offers thedriver three switchable, 'on-demand' drive modes — the default settingEV, HV and EV-City [1].

With EV mode selected, the PriusPlug-in Hybrid is able to draw upon the full capacity of the battery and willremain in electric drive mode, allowing for urban driving with minimal noiseand zero CO2 and NOX emissions, for up to approximately25 kilometres at speeds of up to

85 km/h.

The petrol engine will still start ifthe system judges that additional power is necessary, however the use of lightto medium throttle inputs keeps it switched off throughout EV mode operation.

With HV mode selected, the PriusPlug-in Hybrid functions similarly to the standard Prius. It delivers theclassic, highly efficient Toyota HSD driving experience, seamlessly engagingthe petrol engine as appropriate. The vehicle's switchable EV mode range ispreserved for later use in urban environments.

With EV-City mode selected, the PriusPlug-in Hybrid matches the EV mode's characteristics. Increased electricoperation is ensured by allowing more forceful use of the throttle before thepetrol engine kicks in, allowing users to enter Zero Emission inner city zones.

Switched separately, ECO mode may beindependently activated when the Prius Plug-in Hybrid is operating in HV, EV orEV-City modes. In any drive mode, throttle response to accelerator pedal inputsis reduced and air-conditioning control optimized for improved fuel economy.Depending on driving conditions, the ECO mode can help drivers achieve aperceptible reduction in fuel consumption.

PHEV-specificDriving Support Monitors

Complimenting these three drive modes,the Prius Plug-in Hybrid features comprehensive Eco driving support for thosewho wish to adopt more environmentally-friendly driving techniques.

As in the Prius, the new Toyota PHEVis equipped with an Eco Drive Support Monitor. Various PHEV-specific functionsallow customers to maximise the benefits of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid's extendedEV driving range.

The Hybrid System Indicator bargraphic now shows the point at which the engine will start under acceleration,allowing the driver to moderate throttle inputs and maximise the use of the EVand EV-City modes.

The Energy Monitor, displaying theengine operating conditions and the flow of electric power, incorporatesplug-in connection status and remaining charge time displays. If the ignitionis turned on whilst the vehicle is being charged externally, the connectionstatus will appear, along with the approximate charging time required to fullyrecharge the battery, round up to the nearest 0.1 hour unit.

A Toyota first, users may also setstart and finish battery charging times, with both displayed on the Eco DriveSupport Monitor.

Both the Hybrid System Indicator andthe Energy Monitor feature an EV driving range display adjacent to the batterySOC (State of Charge) level indicator, showing how far the PHEV can travelunder electric motor power alone with the remaining battery charge, rounded upto the nearest 0.1 km.

The battery SOC display itself adoptstwo different display methods to differentiate between HV and EV modes usingcharged electricity only. When the EV mode battery charge falls below a certainlevel, the SOC display will automatically change, with the HSD system, to HVmode. Conversely, when battery power is increased through regenerative braking,the display will revert to the former as the EV driving mode is automaticallyrestored.

In addition, an EV Driving Ratioindicator shows how much of the total distance driven so far has been underelectric motor power alone. This function also includes consumed power and fueldisplays, and a display indicating how much fuel consumption is reduced bydriving using externally charged electricity only.

The trip fuel consumption recorddisplay has been changed to a bar graph, monthly average fuel consumptiondisplay, and a calendar function has been added to the system.

Finally, a Plug-in Effect forestdisplay has been added to visualise the benefits of external charging. Thesystem converts the amount of externally charged electricity into that ofreduced CO2 and, for every 10 kg reduction, one tree is planted inthe forest to show the driver's contribution to environmental preservation. Asthe number of trees increases, flowers and animals are also added to thedisplay.

In combination, this expanded range ofEco Drive Support Monitor functions helps drivers to develop relaxed, fuelefficient driving techniques and maximise both EV driving and overall hybridsystem efficiency.

Suspensionand Steering Revisions

The Prius Plug-in Hybrid shares theproven MacPherson front and torsion beam rear suspension of the standard Prius.However, both systems have been optimised for the specific weight distributionof the new Toyota PHEV, maximising both ride comfort and handling stability.

Both front and rear shock absorberdamping force has been changed from that of the standard Prius, and the frontsuspension upper support rubber characteristics have also been changed tofurther improve the vehicle's excellent Noise and Vibration performance.

The control map of the Electric PowerSteering (EPS) has also been revised in recognition of the nominal effect thePlug-in Hybrid's specific weight distribution has on the vehicles drivingdynamics.

1 European models only