Toyota details the tech features that lie under the all-new 2016 Prius’ sheet metal

Toyota has published additional technical details about the all-new fourth-generation Prius that was introduced last month in Las Vegas.

Built on a new platform called Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), the 2016 Prius is powered by a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain that’s made up of a 1.8-liter VVT-i gasoline-burning four-cylinder engine, a compact electric motor, and a high-density battery pack. The four-cylinder gas engine makes 97 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 104 pound-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm, and the electric motor is rated at 71 hp.

The four-banger is carried over from the last-gen Prius but it has been thoroughly re-engineered. It is fitted with a dual cooling system that reduces the flow of coolant when the engine is cold in order to enable faster warm-up, and it boasts a remarkable thermal efficiency of 40 percent. In other words, it uses the energy made from burning fuel much more efficiently than other gas engines.

While the base Prius will continue to use a nickel-metal hybride battery pack, the more efficient Prius Eco is expected to boast a lithium-ion battery pack, a first in the nameplate’s nearly 20-year history. The pack is located under the rear seats in both models, a packaging solution that gives the new Prius a much more spacious trunk than the model it is replacing.

As a result of the modifications, Toyota boldly promises the new Prius will return 10-percent better gas mileage than the outgoing car. Official figures won’t be published until the EPA tests the hybrid, but we estimate the Prius will return approximately 55 miles per gallon in a mixed cycle, and the aforementioned Eco model will be capable of hitting about 60 mpg.

The 2016 Toyota Prius will arrive in dealerships nationwide early next year. Pricing information will be published in the weeks leading up to its on-sale date.

Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.

Thinking of opting for a car with a diesel engine? Here's what you need to know

Modern diesel-powered models prove that it is possible to build a clean, efficient diesel engine without sacrificing performance. Here's what you need to know about diesel cars, and how they differ from gasoline-powered models.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.

Pininfarina Battista is a 1,900-horsepower, 250-mph electric supercar

The Pininfarina Battista will be the first production car from famed Italian design firm Pininfarina. Named after company founder Battista Pininfarina, it has a claimed 1,900 horsepower and a $2.5 million price tag.

Tesla could show the electric pickup Elon Musk is dying to build in 2019

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself.
Cars is helping Hyundai mine the artificial intelligence gold rush

In November 2018, Hyundai invested in a startup named We talked to the company's founder to learn more about what that means for consumers in the not-too-distant futures.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.