Geneva motor show 2009 - Toyota Prius

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Geneva motor show
Geneva motor show
We've seen the Toyota Prius before, but now we know the official, all-important economy and emissions figures.

It will average 72mpg and emit 89g/km of carbon dioxide, making it officially the cleanest mass-produced car when it goes on sale in July.

Toyota had already launched the car at the Detroit motor show, confirming that the latest hybrid car will be powered by a larger 1.8-litre petrol engine, which can run in conjunction with an electric motor or alone.

The current Prius uses a 112bhp 1.5-litre engine, averages 65.7mpg and emits 104g/km of carbon dioxide. It accelerates from 0-62mph in 10.9 seconds.

To incorporate the larger engine, Toyota has focussed on weight savings and better packaging of the hybrid system, which is lighter and smaller than the current unit.

Further weight-savings have been achieved through the use of lightweight aluminium and high-tensile steel to build the car.a

Toyota also says the new Prius's platform provides better handling, stability and safety.

The bodywork has also been tested in a wind tunnel to provide the least drag of any mass-produced car on sale.

In particular, attention has been paid to airflow beneath the car, to reduce running noise, improve stability and increase fuel efficiency.

The new Prius is slightly longer than the current model, while the roofline has been altered to improve rear-seat headroom. The repackaged hybrid system also allows for a larger boot.

The new Toyota Prius will go on sale in the UK this summer, and will fight for sales with the new Honda Insight.

No prices have been released for the Prius, but it is expected to cost around £18,000, £3000 more than the Insight.

However, the Insight falls short of the Prius's vital statistics with an average of 61.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 105g/km.

Geneva motor show 2009 - Toyota Verso

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