The all-new fourth-generation Prius will be powered by the same 1.8L four-cylinder engine, but it’s been reworked to help the Prius have the highest fuel economy of any vehicle without a plug.
Toyota has released more details about the all-new 2016 Prius following its official introduction last month. The all-new fourth-generation Prius will be powered by the same 1.8L four-cylinder engine, but it’s been reworked to help the Prius have the highest fuel economy of any vehicle without a plug.
Toyota has improved the full hybrid powertrain, by reducing losses, redesigning and relocating key components and reducing weight. Extensive changes to the transaxle, engine and combined hybrid system, generate an expected 10 percent improvement in EPA estimated mpg on core models, with an Eco model that will achieve an even greater improvement. That should give the standard 2016 Prius a rating around 55 mpg. The 1.8L achieves a ground-breaking maximum thermal efficiency of 40 percent. This improvement was enabled in part through the use of a large-volume exhaust gas recirculation system and improvements in combustion efficiency.
Fuel efficiency is also boosted by improvements to heating performance. An active grille shutter has been added to open and close the grille as necessary in response to outside temperatures. The exhaust heat recirculation system has also been improved and made more compact. This recycles exhaust heat from the engine into the coolant to be reused in the heaters and to warm the engine. Cold weather fuel efficiency has also been improved by introducing an engine coolant selector valve and adding a new system which accelerates engine heating.
The 2016 Prius will be available with either a lithium-ion or nickel-metal hydride battery. The batteries are now smaller and have been relocated under the rear seat to increase the Prius’s cargo capacity.