By on July 1, 2014

2014 Toyota Prius

Once set for production in the spring of 2015, the fourth generation of Toyota’s Prius will instead enter production beginning in December of said year.

Automotive News Europe reports the delay is due to engineers wanting to massage as much fuel economy as possible, along with adjustments to the chassis and body. The confirmation model of the new hybrid is expected in November 2014, 12 months before production is set to begin; the plug-in variant will follow in October 2016.

Though Toyota declined to clarify the reasons behind the delay, managing officer for product planning Satoshi Ogiso said the new hybrid will serve as a test bed for the automaker’s modular Toyota New Global Architecture and a new hybrid system that will be more compact and lighter than the current system while delivering a thermal efficiency rate above 40 percent. The system will also support a wider range of engines and vehicles beyond the Prius and Camry hybrids.

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13 Comments on “Fourth-Generation Toyota Prius Production Delayed Six Months...”

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Toyota, having the technical supremacy for many years with their HSD system, most certainly has been scared with Honda’s “Earth Dreams” serial hybrid system.

    • 0 avatar

      A serial hybrid will get more mpg than a parallel hybrid?
      Volt is an EV, parallel and serial hybrid. Why would GM complex Volt by adding a parallel capability if serial was not essential?

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        Serial hybrids _could_ be more efficient, but probably not if they’re reciprocating-piston engines of conventional architecture, and certainly not if they’re Otto or Diesel engines.

        Serial-only hybrid use of conventional engines is geared towards packaging flexibility.

        • 0 avatar

          Isn’t Volt an Atkinson cycle engine?
          What is the Honda engine?
          An astounding physics break through that serial is more efficient than parallel.

          • 0 avatar
            Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

            Volt’s crummy off-the-shelf lump is indeed not an Atkinson cycle motor (A14LUU):


            (the A14XFL LUU)

            But even then, when operating at peak efficiency RPMs, an Atkinson cycle motor would be more efficient clutched to the drive wheels than generating power that then gets inverted and shuffled around.

          • 0 avatar

            Dr. Kenneth Noisewater: “Volt’s crummy off-the-shelf lump is indeed not an Atkinson cycle motor (A14LUU)”

            Too true. Given that GM spent all that money on developing the Volt, it has always amazed me that they settled for such a mediocre engine.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Because GM is….well…..GM?

    Now speaking seriously, there is a difference. The Honda “regular” hybrid is not designed to be a plug-in hybrid, which the Volt is.

    A better comparison would be the Accord “plug in” version.

    • 0 avatar

      So the series, parallel distinction turns on plug in or not plug in.
      Good to know.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        Somewhat.. A plugin _should_ have enough battery that its voltage allows for the primary drive to be electric, which would satisfy the definition of EREV (a vehicle whose primary propulsion is electric, can be operated without its range extender, and cannot be operated without its electric propulsion).

        I doubt one would put that much battery into a vehicle that could _not_ plug in, as it would be beside the point.

        • 0 avatar

          Not sure about the primary electric propulsion. Prius plug in has 15 miles electric and a lithium ion battery. Other than that it is a parallel drive train. It is not an EREV as the engine is by operator demand.

          The Volt is an EREV because it uses the battery first then the engine.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Delayed six months? Bummer. I know the Prius gets a bad rap, but I actually think it’s kind of cool and am curious to see what the fourth-gen will look like (hopefully nothing like that dreadful fuel-cell vehicle) and what it will bring in order to defend the hybrid crown.

  • avatar

    “…engineers wanting to massage as much fuel economy as possible, along with adjustments to the chassis and body.” – as an engineer, this statement makes me smile. If you are going to delay production, its because you want to make a better product. Not because of marketing, suppliers, bad aluminum, or forgetting to properly program your transmission. Kudos for management for not pushing out a product for the sake of meeting deadlines.

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