Toyota Prius Prototype

Toyota Prius Prototype Review: “It looks mature but it somewhat loses the meaning of its name” by Naotsugu Mihori

I test drove the all-new Toyota Prius Prototype and I admired the degree of its progress.

It has a solid body, and its suspension has double wishbone at the back part, providing a high-quality overall performance. It has a gentle and steady riding feel, it has a better steering stability, and I could also feel the precise response of its front tires when I was steering.

Further, its EV driving that can only be generated through its electric motors during departure sustains its performance when you step further on its accelerator pedal. I was impressed about the longer hours of driving in EV mode on a daily basis. In addition to its running performance with a gentle response, I also admire the higher quality of the Prius.

However, there are also points that I’m concerned about. I wonder why its battery wasn’t Li-ion. When I test drove this car, it clearly showed that the charging regeneration of the Li-ion battery is more effective than the Ni-H2 battery. When you try to ask the engineers, the battery’s interior resistance is actually low.

Why was the Prius created in 1997? Was it because they needed to advance with a higher fuel performance as well as environmental performance? Because of that, if its battery will be totally changed to a Li-ion battery, which has excellent regeneration performance, it would also comply with the Prius’s name as the best.

Another one is, why is it particular with the center meter and why is does its car navigation screen remain at the center of the dashboard?

Hereafter, try to picture out that the Prius continues to be sold in the market after 5-6 years. And in those times, various communication functions that ‘connect’ people will be more popular in the market. But the Audi TT already started gathering information and placed it in front of the driver through the liquid crystal meter panel. If it’s an ‘advanced’ car, I want to see more of its advanced functions rather than maintaining its form since the first generation model.

In other words, I felt that even though it was fully developed, the all-new Prius is losing the significance of its name.

â–  5 Star Rating
Packaging: ★★★
Interior / Comfort: ★★★
Power Source: ★★★
Footwork: ★★★★
Recommendation: ★★★

Naotsugu Mihori | Freelance Writer
He graduated from Tamagawa University, from its College of Engineering. He was in FL500 from 1988 to 1989, and was in FJ1600 from 1990 to 1991. He has been a freelance writer since 1994. His notable works are A Book About Interesting Points of Fuel Cell Vehicles, Honda Top Works, Illustration of Eco-friendly Cars, Fast-moving Electric Automobile Racing, Honda F-1 Engine, Top Strategies for Porsche, Compilation of Automobile Technologies, Basic Knowledge About Cars, and more.

(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)