By on September 28, 2011

Toyota will allegedly launch a new compact hybrid in January that will deliver a record low gasoline consumption of 40 km per liter.  On a straight (non EPA) conversion, that would be a jaw-dropping 94 miles per gallon.

What’s less, the car “will not only beat the Prius’ 32km fuel economy, but also likely sell for around 1.7 million yen, around 300,000 yen cheaper than the Prius,” says The Nikkei [sub].

Converted to dollars, that would be around $4,000 less. The Nikkei says the car will be called “Aqua.” Toyota’s official lips are zipped.

Again, according to the Nikkei, the alleged Aqua “will use the same powertrain as the highly popular Prius, helping to hold down development costs.”



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15 Comments on “Toyota Rumored To Launch 94 mpg Compact Hybrid...”

  • avatar

    So I’m guessing that’s the Prius C, and assuming its getting 40 km/l on the new JC08, it would very roughly translate to around ~62mpg in US EPA cycle.

    Which is still impressive if they can get it to cost significantly less than a standard Prius. We should expect the car to take the sales crown away from the Prius in Japan.

    • 0 avatar

      It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the promise of being a sporty Prius. I love the look of the concept. 62 mpg seems optimistic considering that it would require a 20% efficiency improvement over the regular Prius. I’d peg it closer to 55 mpg based on my gut feeling and somewhat obsessive studying of aero drag and rolling resistance losses. (Basically, I don’t see it blowing the regular Prius out of the water as far as aero or weight, so the numbers will be pretty similar considering the similar powertrain.)

      • 0 avatar

        Well, we we’ll see with the US model. As I’m certain that the Japanese and US models will be setup very differently; especially in terms gearing.

        But the Prius still has a surprising amount of efficiency to gain. Right now, the Prius is a bit of a porker for its size at over 3,000lbs, as the Prius C is Yaris-like in size a 400-500lb loss in weight would not be out of the question. As the current Yaris is closer to 2,300lbs, adding a couple hundred pounds for the hybrid system still gives a significant weight advantage.

        Moreover, the hybrid system will be significantly downsized as it needs much less to propel compared to the regular Prius. The engine is expected to be only 1.5 liters and actually have a smaller lithium-ion battery pack in place of the bigger, heavier NiMH pack in the current Prius.

        For city mileage at least I wouldn’t be surprised if the Prius C apporached 60 mpg, however, highway miles are more an issue of gearing, aero and rolling-resistance of tires. So I wouldn’t expect highway miles to gain a significant boost over the current Prius.

      • 0 avatar

        the article said the new hybrid “would use the same powertrain”

        Also, I think Priuses/Prii/Prius have CVT’s dont they? I am no transmission expert, but wouldn’t that mean they don’t have to change the gearing??

      • 0 avatar


        I think they mean that this new vehicle will use Toyota’s THS hybrid powertrain system which in the Prius. The Prius C already been announced to use a downsized 1.5 liter engine of what is in the current Prius (1.8 liters).

        Also, the Prius CVT is not a conventional CVT setup, so its not a pulley or toroidal system. Its basically a traditional planetary automatic gearbox with the hydraulic coupling and reverse gear removed, the electric motor directly connects to the sun gear and acts as a torque converter. So it does have a fixed gear ratio, but a lot operational changes will come down to software.

      • 0 avatar

        That’s interesting – thanks for explaining it!

        Are all the hybrids like that, or is that just the way Toyota does it? I have heard that Honda sets up their hybrids in quite a different way, but I am really ignorant when it comes to hybrids (so far, the alt. fuel vehicles I would choose to buy would be diesel)

      • 0 avatar


        No, not all hybrid are like Toyota’s; atkinson-cycle engine+Power Split Transmission (PST). The one’s that are Toyota wants IP concessions or licencing from (Ford, Mazda, Nisan). Honda’s system merely has a motor sandwiched between the engine and transmission, which is why you can have a manual paired with their hybrid system.

  • avatar

    Wow – Toyota is bringing back the rubber band car?

    Seriously, this is how they did it.
    They made the car completely out of cardboard.

    “It could possibly be considered a fire hazard, I’d have to agree”, Toyota spokesman said about the cardboard construction. “There will be no ash trays offered in order to reduce any fire hazards while driving.”

    “And we recommend that you never wash it.”

    The windows are made of plastic wrap.

    “This car could be considered another duct tape miracle.”

  • avatar

    So, what, are we talking hybrid Piaggio Ape here?

  • avatar

    Consensus is that it’s longer than a Yaris and slightly wider. It looks longer than a Auris as well though motortrend says it’s between the two in length.

    “Boasting dimensions similar to the Prius v, the production Prius … With a wheelbase of about 100 inches (3 inches longer than a current Yaris) and an overall length of around 156 inches (6 inches longer than a Yaris), the new Prius will employ a revised 1.5 liter four-cylinder with HSD … it will house the lithium-ion battery pack under the rear seats and employ a totally new front end. The c will also incorporate a unique design, larger all around than the Yaris.”

    By comparison the Auris is ~104″ wheelbase and ~166″ length and isn’t sold in the US. The Matrix is ~102″ wheelbase and ~171″ length. So Prius C is likely smaller than Auris and Matrix.

    spyshots at

    video at

  • avatar

    More details in Japanese-language media:

    – 1.5 liter engine (coupled with Prius hybrid system).
    – Will be a separate sub-brand. (So not a “Prius”, and could also spawn additional models, in the same way that the Prius has spawned the Prius Alpha / V minivan.
    – Tokyo Motor Show December 2011 debut.
    – Underpinnings from Toyota Vitz (Yaris)

    See more here:

  • avatar

    All they have to do is make it lighter and slower. Considering how thier owners drive them, the current Prius has about 2-3X as much HP as it needs. Make something the size and wieght of the original MK1 VW Golf with a modern hybrid drivetrain and you could probably get 100mpg out of it. Then learn to drive, pay attention, and don’t hit anything with it!

  • avatar

    They are showing the “C” Prius (concept) in the newly released Prius Person commercials….

  • avatar

    That car’s styling goes well with that person’s ‘styling’. As for the likes of you and me, I think something a little less Picassoesque would do better.

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