WHEN GREEN GOES BLUE
Toyota releases the Aqua version of the Prius
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Mon, Dec 26, 2011
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
Toyota Launches 'Aqua' in Japan HOT WIRE— Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces the launch in Japan today of the "Aqua" gasoline-electric compact hybrid. The Aqua is the long-awaited smaller Prius (to be called the Prius C, for City), which it says achieves a world-leading fuel efficiency of 35.4 km/L under the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism's (MLIT's) JC08 test cycle and 40.0 km/L under the MLIT 10-15 test cycle. With a starting price of 1.69 million yen, the Aqua will be approximately 20 percent cheaper than the regular Prius. Exceptional Fuel Efficiency The Aqua features a small, light and efficient 1.5-liter Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) with reduction gear, which achieves a fuel efficiency of 35.4 km/L in the JC08 test cycle and 40.0 km/L in the MLIT 10-15 test cycle. A cooled Exhaust-Gas Recirculation (EGR) system is said to improve efficiency in the high-expansion-ratio Atkinson cycle engine. Also contributing to increased engine efficiency is a battery-powered water pump, a friction-reducing beltless design and precise coolant-water-flow volume control. The hybrid transaxle, which includes the power control unit, the power-generation motor and drive motor, has also been designed to be small and light. A selectable electric-vehicle mode (EV Mode) enables driving with only the electric motor. The Vital Statistics Engine: Model 1NZ-FXE Displacement 1,496 cc Maximum output 54 kW (74 PS)/4,800 rpm Maximum torque 111 N-m (11.3 kgf-m)/3,600-4,400 rpm Motor: Maximum output 45 kW (61 PS) Maximum torque 169 N-m (17.2 kgf-m) Engine & Motor: Combined maximum output 73 kW (100 PS) Battery: Nickel-metal hydride Design Combines Elements of Fun and Sophistication
Exterior The exterior offers a profile that is recognizable as a Prius variant, but in a smaller, simpler package. The vehicle comes in ten body colors, including new Citrus Orange Mica Metallic and Lime White Pearl Crystal Shine. Interior Toyota designed the instrument panel structure to evoke a great sense of space, while a geometric layout with color-coded, switch-operated areas is designed to reflect a friendlier impression. Accent color placement is designed to convey a brighter interior and is available in four patterns: Earth Brown, Fresh Green, Cool Blue, and Natural Gray. As with the other Prii, the hybrid battery has been sized for placement under the rear seat, resulting in a spacious cargo area of 305 liters. Performance With its relatively long 2,550 mm wheelbase, the Aqua’s hybrid unit and engine are positioned to create a low center of gravity for superior maneuvering performance. Engine and motor power combine to provide acceleration from standstill to 100 km/h in 10.7 seconds, according to Toyota, and passing power from 40 km/h to 70 km/h is estimated to occur in 3.6 seconds (all measurements according to TMC). With a minimum turning radius of 4.8 meters, Toyota boasts that the Aqua has excellent maneuverability. Eco- and User-Friendliness Toyota says the instrument panel of the Aqua sports a myriad of functions that support environment-conscious and enjoyable driving. The Hybrid System Indicator offers information concerning eco-driving, such as effective accelerator use. In addition to the standard display, an optional high-resolution thin-film-transistor liquid crystal multi-information display is said to provide a variety of eco-driving information. Eco Judge ranks eco-driving on a 100-point scale, and Eco Wallet shows money saved as compared with other levels of fuel efficiency. Safety and Creature Comforts The Aqua is equipped with ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) to maximize braking performance, with the EBD distributing braking force between the front and rear wheels according to driving conditions. Also, a brake assist function generates extra braking force to assist the driver in emergency braking situations. Vehicle Stability Control controls brake and engine output to maintain vehicle stability if skidding occurs. Traction Control controls wheel spin to simplify acceleration operation. A Hill-start Assist Control reduces anxiety about the vehicle rolling backwards when starting on a steep incline. Automatic air conditioning comes standard on all models and is equipped with an electric inverter compressor run by the electric motor, enabling an air-conditioned interior even when the engine is off. In addition to seat heaters, the exhaust heat recirculation system draws heat from the engine directly into the cooling water, enhancing heating performance and fuel efficiency in the winter. Variety The Aqua is available in seven different packages: 1. Smart entry package - Smart entry and start system for driver, passenger, and rear doors (with answer-back function) - Antitheft system (engine and motor immobilizer) - Light controls (auto on/off lights and auto shutoff headlights) 2. LED headlight package - LED headlights (with auto leveling function, headlight cleaner, black extension ornamentation, and auto shutoff system) - Front fog lights 3. Touring package - 195/50R16 tires and 16x6J aluminum wheels (with center ornamentation) - Large rear roof spoiler - Smoked headlamp trim - Dedicated suspension 4. Beauty package - nanoe - Super UV-cut Glass (front doors) - Seat heaters (driver and passenger seats) - Passenger seat sun visor with vanity mirror 5. Advanced display package - TFT multi-information display - Touch Tracer Display - Steering-wheel-mounted switches (audio system operation, Trip and Display buttons, and air conditioning switches; with touch tracer function) 6. Navigation system ready package - Backup camera - Six speakers - Steering-wheel-mounted switches (audio system operation, Trip and Display buttons, and air conditioning switches) 7. Audio system package - CD + AM/FM & AUX terminals - Steering-wheel-mounted switches (audio system operation, Trip and Display buttons, and air conditioning switches) - Six speakers Welcabs: Vehicles with Factory-installed Features for The Disabled The Rotating Passenger Seat model features a passenger seat that rotates to facilitate smooth ingress and egress. The Type B model features an electric loading/unloading mechanism for manual wheelchairs. Welcab Friendmatic Seat models allow for the installation of devices such as a specialized driver's seat, to help people without use of their legs drive with only their hands (scheduled for release in March 2012). Special-purpose power steering that reduces the force necessary to turn the steering wheel comes standard, helping to ease steering during initial acceleration and low-speed driving. The Friendmatic-exclusive remote-controlled power driver's seat available on Types II and IV, aids movement to and from a wheelchair. Types III and IV include the Welcarry device, which automatically stows a wheelchair on the vehicle's roof.