Toyota's Prius has had the hybrid game wrapped up for many a year. Now, with a worthy challenger in the form of Honda's Insight finally in the market place (and headed here), it is 'game on' in the hybrid wars. Toyota's trump card is the all-new 2010 Prius.
The third generation of the Prius will, according to Toyota, feature superior fuel economy and ultra-low emissions. The Melbourne Motor Show is the first public outing for the new Prius since making its world debut at last month's North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Style-wise, in the metal, it's a big improvement over the former model. Although still a bit 'slab-sided', it sits leaner on its wheels and has an edgier and more-appealing style.
Toyota Australia's senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said the decision to show the new Prius in Melbourne indicated the importance of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive technology to Australia.
The third-generation Prius features significant improvements to its patented Hybrid Synergy Drive technology and a larger 1.8-litre petrol engine (current models use a 1.5-litre). The larger engine and technical improvements not only result in improved performance but also improved efficiency both in traffic and on the highway.
Toyota says it will consume 10 percent less fuel than the current model.