Motor Profile: Toyota Prius

By Jackie Turchi
October 20, 2006

In an economy where gas prices are rising, it seems like hybrid cars are becoming the “it” car of today. The 2007 Toyota Prius is introducing a new improved type of hybrid driving called hybrid synergy driving.

Hybrid synergy driving combines a gasoline engine with two electric motors, a battery pack, an electronically controlled, continuously variable transmission and power and control electronics.

The difference between the Toyota Prius hybrid and the Toyota Prius hybrid synergy driving is a voltage converter that increases the overall voltage of the battery, offering higher efficiency and more power with a smaller, more durable battery.

Caitlin Dawson, a sophomore undeclared major, said, “This car is the car of the future.”

The Toyota Prius can operate in electric-only mode, or stealth mode. Full hybrid vehicles are the only cars that allow the vehicle to drive at low speeds without the engine turning on. This saves gas and produces less noise when gasoline is in the tank.

A myth that many people tend to believe about this car is that it doesn’t need gas to run. It is not designed to run without gasoline. Doing so could cause severe damage to the hybrid system, so drivers should be sure to keep gas in the tank at all times.

The Toyota Prius is a car that is geared toward the youth of America with the latest technology that comes with a reasonable price tag. The base price of a Toyota Prius is $22,175. A great tool that Toyota offers is customizing your own car before you buy it. This allows the consumer to choose from different color paint for the accessories that will make their drive more personal to them.

In recent statistics, many young professionals have been the number one buyer of the Toyota Hybrid Prius due to the technology that Toyota has to offer. The most advanced technology has been installed in the Toyota Prius such as Bluetooth, wireless technology, smart key system, backup camera and an audio jack which allows you to listen to your own personal music off of your MP3 player or iPod.

Some refer to the Toyota Prius as looking like a toy car driving on the road but the funny looking shape was designed for a reason. The Toyota Prius has been built for aerodynamic mono-form design. The website,, stated, “Prius’ design philosophy focused on creating the greatest interior room with the least exterior footprint, offering both driver comfort and maneuverability.”

The safety and coverage that comes with a hybrid car is the same as any other Toyota. Hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter are covered for eight years and 100,000 miles. There are actually two batteries on hybrid vehicles, the traction battery and the auxiliary 12-volt battery, which powers accessories and the car’s computer, similar to a conventional vehicle. These batteries are good for five years. After five years the batteries should be service or replaced.

Going to, a consumer looking to buy a car would be very pleased with this website. You can take a virtual tour of hybrid synergy driving starting with the exterior and moving into the interior. You can also build and purchase your car online and then they will ship it to the nearest Toyota dealership.

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Jackie Turchi

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