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Photos Courtesy of: Official Toyota Site - http;//www.toyota.com

Specifications:
Year: 2004
Make: Toyota
Model: Prius
Top Speed: 104 MPH / 167.4 KPH
¼ mile: 18.3 Seconds
Lat. Acceleration: 0.76 G
Drag Coefficient: 0.26
0 - 60 MPH: 11.3 Seconds
0 - 100 MPH: 39.6 Seconds
Gas Mileage: City: 60 MPG / Hwy: 51 MPG
Position: Front Engine
Configuration: Inline 4 and Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor
Valvetrain: DOHC, VVT-i, 4 valves/cyl
Displacement: 91.5 CI / 1500 CC
Power: 76 BHP / 56.7 KW @ 4,500 RPM
Torque: 82 FT LBS / 111 NM @ 4200 RPM
Bore: 2.95 IN 75 MM
Stroke: 3.33 IN 85 MM
HP/L: 50.66 BHP per Liter
HP/LB: 38 LBS per BHP
Drive Wheels: FWD
Curb Weight: 2890 LBS 1310.7 KG
Length: 175.0 IN / 4444 MM
Width: 67.9 IN / 1724 MM
Height: 58.1 IN / 1476 MM
Wheelbase: 106.3 IN / 2700 MM
Front Track: 59.3 IN / 1506 MM
Rear Track: 58.3 IN / 1481 MM
Ground Clearance: 5.9 IN / 150 MM
Steering: Electric power-assist rack-and-pinion
Turning Circle: 34.1 FT / 10.4 M
Front Brakes: Ventilated front disc (hydraulic with power assist) with standard Anti-Lock Brake (ABS) system and integrated regenerative brake system
Front Brake Size: 10.0 IN / 254 MM
Rear Brakes: Ventilated front disc (hydraulic with power assist) with standard Anti-Lock Brake (ABS) system and integrated regenerative brake system
Rear Brake Size: 7.87 IN / 200 MM
Front Wheels: 15.0 x 6.0 IN / 38.1 x 15.2 CM
Rear Wheels: 15.0 x 6.0 IN / 38.1 x 15.2 CM
Front Tires: All-Season P185/65R15
Rear Tires: All-Season P185/65R15
Front Suspension: Independent MacPherson strut suspension with stabilizer bar
Rear Suspension: Torsion Beam with stabilizer bar
Transmission: Electrically Controlled CVT
Toyota Introduces New-Generation Prius,The Most Fuel-Efficient Midsize Car In America

Toyota has introduced the all-new second-generation Toyota Prius gas/electric hybrid vehicle featuring significantly more power and performance than the previous model, as well as best-in-class fuel economy and best-in-class emissions performance.

Larger and better in every metric of comparison, Prius launches Toyota's second generation of electric-gas hybrid technology and is the first hybrid vehicle available to provide the room, comfort and features of a midsize sedan.

The Toyota Prius was the world's first mass-produced electric-gas hybrid vehicle when introduced in 1997 (2000 in the U.S. market). It has since become the best-selling hybrid vehicle in the world. U.S. market sales have steadily increased from 5,600 in its first year on the market to just over 20,000 in 2002.

"The 2004 Prius will exceed all expectations, marking the arrival of hybrid technology into the mainstream consumer mindset," said Don Esmond, senior vice president and general manager, Toyota Division. "Prius can compare to any midsize four-cylinder car in terms of performance, roominess and features, but outdoes all of them with its fuel efficiency and best in class emissions."

All-New Mainstream Performance With Exceptional Mileage
The new Prius is the first Toyota product to employ Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive, third-generation electric-gas hybrid powertrain technology. The new system produces more power from both the gasoline engine and the electric motor, giving the new Prius acceleration comparable to a 4-cylinder midsize car. The 2004 Prius can accelerate from 0-60 MPH in about 10 seconds, compared to 12.7 seconds for the previous model, and it offers significantly improved passing performance, as well.

At the same time, Hybrid Synergy Drive yields even better fuel efficiency in the new Prius, with a combined EPA preliminary mileage estimate of 55 MPG compared to 48 MPG for the previous-generation Prius.

The Prius (the name comes from the Latin "to go before") never needs to be plugged in for recharging. It will carry an estimated EPA rating of 60 MPG in city driving and 51 MPG on the highway. These seemingly "reversed" figures reflect the unique powertrain that's optimized for maximum efficiency in the kind of slow-and-go driving that most urban commuters experience. Prius will provide the best fuel efficiency rating of any midsize vehicle sold in America. What's more, with these estimated EPA ratings the midsize Prius will return an even higher combined mileage rating than any compact sedan sold in America.

Dramatic New Design And Greater Utility
The new Prius rides on an entirely new platform, with a wheelbase nearly six inches longer than the previous car. The longer wheelbase (now 106.3 inches) provides greater interior room, plus a smoother ride. The 2004 Prius introduces a new five-door liftback design that is a dramatic departure from the previous model. It is also one of the most aerodynamic production vehicles in America, with a super-low 0.26 coefficient of drag (Cd) that helps to minimize interior noise and enhance fuel mileage.

With its striking "monoform" design, the boldly styled 2004 Prius provides enough increased passenger and cargo space to move from the EPA compact to the midsize class: 96.2 cubic feet of passenger room compared to just under 89 for the previous car and 101.7 cubic feet for the Toyota Camry. The rear seat in Prius provides a generous 38.6 inches of legroom.

Rear cargo room measures 16.1 cubic feet, nearly as much as the Camry trunk capacity, and more than three cubic feet greater than the previous model's trunk. The liftback design, combined with the newly standard 60/40 split fold-down rear seatbacks, greatly increases cargo capacity and flexibility in the 2004 Prius.

Hybrid Synergy Drive
Like the original Toyota Hybrid System (THS) employed in the previous model, Hybrid Synergy Drive is defined as a "full hybrid system." Unlike competitive systems currently on the market, the full hybrid system is capable of operating in gas or electric modes, as well as a mode that combines the power of the gas engine and electric motor.

Compared to the hybrid technology used in the previous model, the new Hybrid Synergy Drive provides greater duration of electric-mode-only driving, as well as significantly higher peak electrical power. Hybrid Synergy Drive uses a 50-percent more powerful 50-kilowatt drive motor operating at up to 500 volts. A newly adopted high-voltage power converter enables this increased voltage and power. In addition, the generator in the new Prius has a higher peak operating speed that increases electric-mode operation in city and freeway slow-and-go operation.

Hybrid Synergy Drive combines a 1.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson Cycle gasoline engine and an electric drive motor. The gasoline engine for the 2004 Prius produces 76 horsepower and 82 lb.-ft. of torque, compared to 70 hp and 82 lb.-ft. for the previous model. As on all other Toyota passenger car engines, Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) helps to optimize power delivery across the engine speed range.

The permanent-magnet electric drive motor produces its maximum power of 50 kW (67 horsepower) from 1200~1540 RPM, and peak torque of 295 lb.-ft. from 0~1,200 (compared to 33 kW / 44 hp and 258 lb.-ft. for the previous model).

The electronic continuously variable transmission does not have fixed gear ratios, but rather provides infinitely variable ratios in response to driving conditions.

A regenerative braking system further boosts system efficiency. When the Prius is coasting or the brakes are applied, the electric motor functions as a generator, capturing kinetic energy that would normally be lost as heat through the brakes and transforming it into useable electricity to recharge the batteries.

The Most Stringent Emissions Certification
Hybrid Synergy Drive will reduce the already scant emissions over the previous-generation model by an additional 30 percent. That equates to producing nearly 90 percent fewer smog forming emissions than a conventional internal combustion engine vehicle. Prius has been certified as a Super-Ultra-Low-Emission-Vehicle (SULEV) in California and those states adopting California standards. In the rest of the country, Prius is certified as Tier 2, Bin 3.

In addition, in California and those states adopting the California rules, Prius is certified as an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) category vehicle. AT-PZEV certification requires the SULEV exhaust standard linked with the ability to meet a zero-fuel-evaporative standard, a 150,000-mile durability demonstration, offering an extended emissions system warranty, and technology deemed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to advance future fuel cell vehicles.

Driving Prius
One of the most remarkable features of the Toyota Prius is what the driver does not feel. The computer-controlled powertrain seamlessly blends power from the gasoline engine, the electric drive motor and the generator. The driver does not feel the vehicle changing operational modes.

The new Prius uses an electronically controlled "throttle-by-wire" throttle, which provides greater precision than a conventional cable-type throttle setup. A new by-wire shift control replaces the traditional gearshift lever and allows tap-of-the-finger shifting using a small joystick mounted on the dash.

The driver can monitor electric-gas power distribution through the Hybrid Synergy Drive system on the standard seven-inch touch-panel display monitor. This screen also displays navigation information on vehicles equipped with the optional navigation system.

Safety
Designed to easily accommodate a small family, the 2004 Prius is also designed to provide the level of safety a family car buyer demands. Passive safety features include front seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force limiters, 3-point seatbelts for all rear seating positions and two-step dual front airbags (SRS), with driver and passenger side and curtain airbags available as an option.

Prius also features a high level of dynamic control, with some features that are not yet available in other midsize cars. The standard anti-lock brake system (ABS) integrates Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Distribution features, which can help apply maximum braking pressure in an emergency stop. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) is available as an option. The new Hill Acceleration Control helps the driver maintain better control on ascents and descents.

Premium Amenities
The 2004 Prius offers the amenities expected in the midsize class, plus some available options more commonly found in luxury models. The standard automatic air conditioning system uses a new electric-powered air compressor. Not only does this improve fuel efficiency, it ensures passenger comfort even when the car is running only on the electric motor.

The steering wheel features fingertip controls for both the air conditioning and the deluxe AM/FM CD audio system with six speakers, so that the driver does not have to divert attention from the road to change settings for these systems.

Cabin filtration, cruise control, heated side mirrors, power windows and door locks and remote keyless entry are all standard on the 2004 Prius, making it an outstanding value in comparison to any car in its price segment. The 2004 Prius offers more colors - seven exterior and two interior, versus six and one for the previous model.

Thanks to the high efficiency of the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive, Prius can offer a wider array of options than before. Customers can choose an auto-dimming rear view mirror, anti-theft system, fog lights, garage door opener, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights, intermittent rear wiper, Premium JBL AM/FM/cassette/CD audio system with nine speakers, and a satellite navigation system.

New to the Prius navigation system is Bluetooth technology, which provides a hands-free communication system. Any cellular phone with built-in Bluetooth compatibility allows the driver and passengers to make and receive hands-free calls. A call can be dialed by using the navigation screen's keypad, while incoming calls can be answered and ended by pushing a button embedded in the steering wheel. When a call comes in, the stereo is automatically muted, so the driver or passenger does not have to fumble with radio controls. The Prius stereo speakers act as the phone receiver and transmitter.

First-ever in a Toyota Division vehicle, a new Smart Entry and Start option allows hands-free keyless entry and startup. When the driver pulls the door handle, an on-board sensor recognizes the signal from a key in his pocket and automatically unlocks the doors. Having been security cleared, the driver merely pushes a "start" button located on the dash, taps the gear-selector and drives away.

Great Pricing
When the 2004 Prius goes on sale this fall, it will carry a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $19,995. Not only is that the same price as the current-generation Prius, it's a price that hasn't changed since the vehicle was launched in the U.S. three years ago.

Prius will offer nine tiers of pricing that begins with the base MSRP of $19,995 and includes a high level of standard equipment.

Prius Pioneers
When the first-generation Prius was launched in the summer of 2000, all sales transactions were initiated by early-buyers on the internet. The process culminated with vehicle delivery at a Toyota dealership of the buyer's choice. Toyota refers to these initial owners as "Prius Pioneers" for their leap-of-faith in an all-new, but promising technology. Most importantly, many of these early buyers became outspoken advocates of the Prius and its hybrid technology, strongly recommending the vehicle to family and friends...and anyone tuned in to internet chat rooms.

A one-time Prius early-buyer program ran from June 30th to July 20th. Nearly 18,000 Prius Pioneers were identified and notified via the internet. These "Prius Pioneers" were given the opportunity to order their new Prius over the internet in any of three tier price combinations. Vehicles will be delivered at Toyota dealerships beginning in mid-October, when the Prius officially goes on sale, nationwide.

Story by Toyota
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