Thursday, April 28, 2011

First Impression Toyota Prius

There is a epidemic plaguing the roads and highways. It is on the streets of our neighborhoods.  It is considered to the greenest car in the world and has become a must have accessory for the top A-list celebrities who think by buying this car that they are saving the planet.  Having this car says that one is giving up style and performance to protect the environment.  This infestation is caused by the Toyota Prius.

The Toyota Prius debuted in Japan in late 1997 and arrived in North America in 2001. It is now on its third generation with a plug-in model coming soon.  I saw the plug-in model at 2011 Houston Auto Show.  The plug-in model will get 13 miles on a charge before the gas engine kicks in.  The normal Prius goes only one mile before the gas engine kicks in.  The Prius is a double-edge sword.  It gets good gas mileage, but the method to create the Prius battery is environmentally unfriendly.  The metal is mined in Canada, the metal is shipped to Europe and is refined, then shipped to China to be made into a foam, then finally shipped to Japan and made into the battery for the Prius.  The plug-in Prius has another problem with it.  The electricity to charge the battery comes from coal, which is extremely dirty.  So the Toyota Prius is slow, overhyped, and environmentally unfriendly.
The Prius is powered by a 650V battery and an electric motor that puts out 80 hp and 153 lb-ft of torque and a 1.8L gas engine that 98 hp and 105 lb-ft, with a total hybrid output of 134 hp.  It has a curb weight of 3042 lb.  It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 9.7 seconds, the quarter mile in 17.1 seconds, and a top speed of 106 mph.  Prices for the Prius start at $23,050.  The Prius has a drag coefficient of 0.25. The Toyota Prius is SLOW!
Top Gear has done reviews of the first and second generation models of the Toyota Prius, which can be seen on Youtube.  Jay Leno has featured the Prius on his website  Motorweek named the third generation Prius the 2010 Car of the Year.  I could list several cars that are better than the Toyota Prius.  Motorweek should have considered the Aston Martin DBS and DB9, Alfa Romeo 8C, Lamborghini Gallardo Balboni, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Chevy Camero SS and Corvette ZR1, just to name a few.  
Final Thoughts:  The Toyota Prius is slow, overhyped, and environmentally unfriendly.  A Hummer does less damage to the environment than the Prius.  I saw a bumperstick on a Prius that said "My hybrid can beat your Hummer."  I would take the Hummer over the Prius any day. I am sick of seeing these at Cars and Coffee.  People go to C&C to see rare cars and supercars, not the Toyota Prius.  This car sucks and it is ugly.
Photo taken from camera phone
Now for Top Gear's view on the Prius. (I do not own these videos.)

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