Toyota Primes Its New 120MPGe Plug-in Hybrid Prius

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Felt, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    The design theme for the two cars are different. The Liftback was designed to be the sportier Prius. It was designed to attract younger buyers and provide a drive that is unlike a Prius. When the Gen 3 was launched, it was a bit sportier but still had the Prius' distinct "triangular monoform" shape. I was hoping they'd make the car nicer to drive but Akio Toyoda had just taken helm a year earlier and Prius' design and planning would've either been signed off or close to signing off.

    The Prime was designed to be a bit more conservative. It's designed to appeal to basically the members of PriusChat. What I mean is that the Prime is designed for the Prius faithful - it (should be) the Prius of your dreams - updated styling, longer EV range, top notch fuel efficiency (both electric and petrol), ultra low emissions and high tech toys. It also doesn't hurt that it drives nicely too (and I'm looking forward to driving it either at the local dealership when it arrives or at a media event).

    The related post is just as cool.

    Can Carbon Fiber Composites Be the Future Material for Shipping Containers? | Composites Manufacturing Magazine

    Never thought about it but it could work!
     
    #21 Tideland Prius, Apr 4, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
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  2. Sergiospl

    Sergiospl Senior Member

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  3. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    And it'll do double duty by lowering the centre of gravity too. I'm sure cost came into play. (The roof has to support the weight of the vehicle in a roll over while a hatch doesn't have to).
     
  4. Redpoint5

    Redpoint5 Senior Member

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    I would think carbon fiber to be the ideal material for the roof due to its strength. It would improve chassis rigidity too. Areas where carbon fiber is inappropriate are in crumple zones, where strength is needed, but also give to absorb impact.

    8 lb weight reduction is quite underwhelming. That's about a gallon of milk.
     
  5. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    That's quite a bit actually. In most cases in the automobile industry, we're talking hundreds of grams. (e.g. Honda changed the leather shift cover to a mesh shift cover on the NSX Type-R to save 28g). Toyota scooped out just a little bit of metal from the head of each screw or bolt on Lexus models more than a decade ago to save weight (I forget the exact number).
     
  6. Redpoint5

    Redpoint5 Senior Member

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    Removing material to shave weight not only improves performance, but often reduces cost. It's just an efficient way to engineer. Replacing a material with carbon composites increases cost. I wonder what Toyota's price difference is between the 2 materials?

    Car companies are notorious for including heavy wheels on their vehicles. I'd rather save 8 lbs of unsprung weight compared to the hatch. Spend the money there instead.

    This talk of weight has me wondering which is heavier; power seats or manual seats? I prefer manual seats because I can't be bothered to wait an eternity for the seat back to recline, but if power seats are lighter I could see why they are becoming more popular.

    I suspect carbon composites will become cheaper than metal at some point in the future, as automated processes develop. I don't think the carbon and resin are the main expense, but instead the fabrication.
     
  7. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Usually but not always. If you're doing it to make a hardcore model (e.g. Boxster RS or F430 CS), then yes. But those models also cost more than the regular version (Isn't marketing great?)

    For the purpose of the Prius, it's usually an increase in cost since you're replacing a material (in this case, the hatch), with a lighter, stronger material.

    I think that's why Toyota keeps the 15" wheels around. Not only do they save fuel, they're also "lightweight" although aside from that marketing term, they never really specified what that entails. That being said, the difference between the 15" and 17" wheels on the Gen 3 was pretty decent. The gap is shrunk for Gen 4 because some of the marketing material mention that the 17" wheel has been lightened over the Gen 3. (Perhaps that's why it has those plastic inserts now).

    Manual seats will be lighter for sure. They're just a lever, crank and some springs. The electric motors and actuators for power seats are heavier. They're popular because they're a convenience item and they can be infinitely adjustable within the set range. For a heavier owner, you don't have a ratchet to worry about wearing out.

    As more manufacturers turn to carbon fibre for weight savings, I'm sure they will come down in cost.
     
  8. Redpoint5

    Redpoint5 Senior Member

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    Anecdotal evidence is worthless, but I've had power seats give out on me, but never a manual seat. My rental in Hawaii failed in the fully reclined position, and it took incredible ab strength to drive 30 minutes back to the shop to swap cars. My guess is there are more failures in power seats than manual ones.

    Infinite positions aren't helpful either when you just need 1 position. Can't imagine someone being uncomfortable due to their ideal position being between "clicks".

    The only time I can see power seats being helpful is when combined with position memory. Automatically adjusting to different drivers is handy.
     
  9. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Wasn't the reply I was expecting lol. I've had cars with both types of seats.
     
  10. Jeff N

    Jeff N The answer is 0042

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  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    a lot of talk about the engineering to allow more ev capability. at 22 miles, i wonder how many will care?
     
  12. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Balance has always been a strong selling trait of Prius.

    In this case, Prime delivers outstanding MPG following the depletion of EV capability.

    22 miles does cover a variety of driving situations for a number of people...
     
  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    absolutely, i just mean all this work to make it more ev capable, not sure that will help sell a lot of cars whose strong suit is mpge.
     
  14. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    I don't bother telling people about MPGe, though I will point out the benefit if asked about the green aspect.

    Since I recharge at work currently, it gives a rough approximation of what Prime should deliver without the second charge. That resulting 125 MPG average speaks for itself.
     
  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    mine are between 139 and 174. i have no complaints.:)
     
  16. Redpoint5

    Redpoint5 Senior Member

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    What was the limiting factor for regen on the first gen; generator or battery? If the gen 2 has a smaller MG2, is regen output reduced?
     
  17. Jeff N

    Jeff N The answer is 0042

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    I don't know the kW answer for regen on a regular Prius or on the original Prius PHEV but I would strongly suspect they were battery limited and that regen should be improved on the Prime. I know the Volt and Model S can both max out regen at freeway speeds at around 60 kW. I'll bet that Prime can't quite do that because of limits in its smaller battery so I doubt MG2 is the limiting factor.
     
  18. Felt

    Felt Senior Member

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    A question for the engineers: (I'm skeptical by nature)

    I've read the reason the Prime is only a 4 passenger vehicle is because of structural considerations. That explanation just does not seem legitimate.

    I'm sure the Prime will use the new "global structural platform" as the standard new Prius. Wasn't the idea that a number of Toyota vehicles would use the same platform? Granted, the battery in the prime is heavier, but if the new platform cannot accommodate 1 additional person, it must have been underdesigned. If there is no greater "factor of safety" in the design, I'd be concerned about flexing and rigidity, as well as failure when owners load all sorts of heavy things in the back that many tend to do. Or installing a trailer hitch, and stressing the platform in unintended ways.
     
    #38 Felt, Apr 8, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
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  19. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Not taking safety-rating into consideration would indeed give that impression.

    You want to earn 5 stars, you cannot settle for certain tradeoffs.
     
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  20. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    My understanding is that to accommodate a 5th person, there are expectations that the car will perform the same with a 5th person of average weight. So to ensure that, the car will have to have additional reinforcements to accommodate the extra weight of the vehicle.

    Or to put it another way, say they actually did install the additional reinforcements. Now they can either make it a 5 passenger vehicle, or keep it as a 4 passenger vehicle with additional cargo payload capacity.

    But they were willing to sacrifice the 5th person functionality, keep the same cargo capacity and hit that 52mpg combined rating.
     
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