Toyota set to respond to forthcoming Honda launch
28 October 2009

Toyota is planning a Prius coupe to go head to head with the Honda CR-Z, Autocar can reveal.

The sleek, sporting hybrid is expected to be part of a Prius family, which would also include an MPV that could line up against a hybrid production version of the Honda Skydeck.

Honda is keen to regain its footing in the hybrid market and Toyota, which was understood to have ditched the idea of expanding the Prius range, has been urged to respond.

The Prius coupe would use the same 1.8-litre VVT-i hybrid powertrain and chassis as the hatch version, with 134bhp.

A more aerodynamic body and possible weight saving would bring slight improvements to the 10.4sec sprint to 60mph and 110mph top speed.

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Comments
12

28 October 2009

Bit too much detail in this story for me

28 October 2009

Someone made a comment on another thread about Toyota starting to look like and act like GM did a couple of years ago.

From this evidence I have to agree. This new "range" of cars is purely a reactionary move on Toyota's behalf, who appear to have been resting on their Prius shaped laurels!

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

28 October 2009

Using unique technology, GM produced a revolutionary car using that they couldn't make as quickly as they could sell, then looked to diversify it out to more body styles to build on that success? That'll be why GM went bankrupt I guess.

28 October 2009

I'm sorry. I do not see the point of a "sporty" hybrid.

28 October 2009

You need to go and get a test drive in a Lexus GS 450h then.

Point is higher, flatter torque delivery, instant throttle respsonse, no gear changes. Hybrid makes engines better, that can mean performance as well as economy.

28 October 2009

[quote Scott B]

Point is higher, flatter torque delivery, instant throttle respsonse, no gear changes. Hybrid makes engines better, that can mean performance as well as economy.

[/quote]

The heart of a good sporting / sports car is mechanical interaction. Unfortunately, the addition of a hybrid system detaches the driver further from the driving experience, despite the "performance" advantages.

It is also why your (Toyota) engineers cited why they didn't use a hybrid system in the LFA.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

28 October 2009

[quote TegTypeR]The heart of a good sporting / sports car is mechanical interaction.[/quote] That's a generalisation covering a wide range of "sports" cars. If people really wanted "mechanical interaction" out of their sports cars, they'd all be buying Caterhams with their manual gearboxes, LSDs and complete lack of electronic aids. You don't get more direct a mechanical interaction than that. Yet instead, we see Ferraris with automated gearboxes, and a large number of "sports diesel" cars that fall very short of rev happy throttle responsive light weight nimble sports cars that a narrow definition might include. Yet people still buy them. Because for most people, their priorities are something that looks sporty and offers a decent slug of torque to make them feel like they're driving something quick. I see no reason why a hybrid sports car can't have the same appeal as a diesel sports car, only without the van like rattle at idle. That said, if they're going to use the Prius drive train, they need to improve the throttle response at higher speeds. At low speeds, the electric motor has the kick to fill the gap whilst the petrol engine spools up. At higher speeds it seems less successful.

28 October 2009

[quote MrTrilby]That's a generalisation covering a wide range of "sports" cars. If people really wanted "mechanical interaction" out of their sports cars, they'd all be buying Caterhams with their manual gearboxes, LSDs and complete lack of electronic aids.[/quote]

You are right, it is a generalisation. What this does though is bring up the debate over peoples definition of a sporty car.

Is it the case that something with a decent slug of torque but gives no emotion to drive is sporty? Are we going to end up with a marketing departments version of a sporty car, which in reality is not sporty in the slightest?

Ultimately the greatest sports cars have had emotion, interaction, and verve which is made up from a combination of handling, performance and mechanical interaction. Loose one or more of those factors and the car becomes nothing more than a white goods product.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

29 October 2009

[quote TegTypeR]Are we going to end up with a marketing departments version of a sporty car, which in reality is not sporty in the slightest?[/quote] Where have you been for the last twenty years? It's been that way for a long time for most manufacturers.

29 October 2009

[quote TegTypeR]Is it the case that something with a decent slug of torque but gives no emotion to drive is sporty?  Are we going to end up with a marketing departments version of a sporty car, which in reality is not sporty in the slightest?[/quote]

sorry, i think we need to mop up the apparent confusion between sports cars and sporty cars. a sports car was traditionally an open two seater car that sacrificed practicality for performance. "sporty" cars are different to sports cars. "sporty" is a contraction of "sporting". sporting cars were different from sports cars; a sporting car was not usually an open car, it was typically a modified version of a regular two or four door car.

therefore, what people these days refer to as sporty car is basically a modified and slightly quicker version of a regular car. therefore, a fast diesel car can be sporty, as can a faster hybrid. ergo, a golf gtd is sporting, as is the new honda cz-thing, as will probably be the prius coupe, providing it's a bit quicker than the standard prius.

whether you think a car is emotional or not is down to you, it's a subjective term. you might believe that mechanical interaction is important - and i think you're right, in a sports car, it is - but in a sporty car it's irrelevant.

in fact, the marketing boys are pretty much on the button when they describe a car as sporty (providing its a quicker version of a standard car).

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