Toyota Prius to Feature Battery-Powered Air Conditioning, Pre-Collision

Toyota Prius is surely going to be one of the most advanced models ever released by the Japanese automakers and not only thanks to the hybrid system it sports, but also due to a number of features unavailable on other Toyotas. More importantly, Toyota says the Australian version of Prius will boast several world-first systems, such as the remote air-conditioning system that functions on battery power alone.

"The next-generation Prius brings a quantum leap in technology with a remarkable double - improved performance and better fuel economy," Toyota Australia senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said.

"We expect power gains of at least 20 percent and significantly improved torque characteristics, at the same time as cutting fuel use by approximately 10 percent. As a result, Prius owners will enjoy greater driving pleasure while having less impact on the environment."

Prius highlights include three driving modes - electric only, eco and power -, ecological plastic for the seat-cushion foam and other interior elements plus dynamic cruise control, a pre-collision system, intelligent parking assist and belt-less engine, as Toyota said in a statement for the press.

The car also boasts solar panels mounted on the roof to power the ventilation system, keeping the battery itself to be used for supplying electricity to the engine.

"Acceleration will be punchier and highway cruising more relaxed, and yet Toyota's internal testing shows it will emit fewer than 100 grams of CO2 per kilometre," Buttner explained. "That is impressive from a full-size car with a 1.8-litre petrol engine that seats five adults in comfort and swallows their luggage."

The third-generation Prius is expected to go on sale in Australia in July, while the other markets across the world will receive it in late 2009 and early 2010.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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