TORONTO, ONTARIO ––Twenty years ago, with the Y2K computer glitch reduced to the punchline of the year, technology in another corner took a mammoth leap as a small, unassuming sedan very quietly rolled into Canadians Toyota dealerships. The 2001 Toyota Prius, the world’s first mass-produced hybrid car, had arrived, and it would profoundly change the trajectory of automotive propulsion evolution.
Over the next two decades, Toyota would go on to sell more than six million Prius vehicles worldwide and more than 200,000 hybrid models (including Lexus) in Canada. Toyota Prius family sales in Canada reached 90,000 through 2019, and the model name became synonymous with hybrid technology. (The original Prius went into production for the Japanese market in 1997.)
To honour the 20th anniversary, the 2021 Toyota Prius offers Canadian drivers the latest in safety and multimedia connectivity. The Prius, which already had Toyota Safety Sense (TSS-P) standard, steps up to the more capable TSS 2.0 for 2021. This latest version of the critical safety system includes:•Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection: Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Lane Tracing Assist and Automatic High Beams
Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection is designed to offer automatic braking capability, under certain conditions, should the driver not react in time in an emergency situation. Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Intelligent Clearance Sonar with Intelligent Parking Assist are also standard.
Also for 2021, all models but the Prius AWD Technology offer Android Auto compatibility™. Apple CarPlay compatibility was already standard on 2020 Prius models.
Its 2020 livery gives the 2021 Prius an added edge of distinction on the road. The unmistakable Prius silhouette is still the car’s signature design feature, made to cheat the wind with an ultra-low 0.24 coefficient of drag (Cd).
The foundation of Prius efficiency is the Toyota Hybrid System II. It operates much in the same fashion as the original hybrid system in the 2001 Prius, but is more compact, more powerful, and more fuel-efficient. In the Prius, the system combines the output of a high-efficiency 1.8-litre four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine with that of two motor-generators through an electronically controlled planetary-type continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Based on the Toyota New Global Architecture-K platform (TNGA-K), the fourth-generation Prius is the most efficient and quietest in its history. The fourth-gen Prius introduced the top-of-line Prius Prime plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and the Prius AWD-e model with all-wheel drive.