Toyota Motor Corporation will be releasing the all-new Prius this December, and they will be releasing a 4WD specification only for the Japanese market.
Koji Toyoshima, the all-new Prius’ chief engineer, said at the technical briefing held in Tokyo on October 13: “The all-new Prius will feature the E-Four system for those customers who have requested a 4WD model. While traveling, this system automatically determines whether to use the four-wheel drive or not; hence, it contributes to achieving low fuel consumption.
Shunsuke Fushiki from the Hybrid Vehicle Engineering Management Division said: “The compact transaxle and the inverter, which have been made smaller and independent, ensure that this can be mounted to other hybrid vehicles as well. It ensures steady driving force by optimal allocation of torque to the rear wheels depending on the driving condition. We were also conscious about the fuel efficiency, so the E-Four was made to be a low friction system.”
The E-Four is equipped to the Estima, the Alphard/Vellfire, and the Lexus RX, but they use integrated inverters that are housed inside the bonnet. Since the inverters mounted to the all-new Prius have been redesigned and is positioned in the rear of the vehicle, the same place where spare tires are stored, this system can be mounted to those compact cars that have narrow bonnets.
(Translated by Katherine N. Bantiles)