As the previous entry intimated, the world’s #1 automaker maintains its global dominance on the strength of its top-notch sedans and innovative hybrids. At the top of the lineup sits the Prius with its sleek design and industry-best 60 mpg on the highway and 51 in the city. But just when you thought the news couldn’t get any better for Toyota, it turns out that the Japanese automaker has a 100Â mpg Prius in the works for 2009.
This potentially industry-altering development comes in response to Honda’s plans to develop a 2008 version of the Fit hybrid that would cost only $1700 more than the model’s gas-powered predecessor. Toyota only recently ascended to the top of the automotive industry and won’t feel the same sense of entitlement that ultimately undermined the Big 3.
But forget about Honda for the moment. Can anyone touch the Prius if Toyota’s development team executes the plan? We’ve seen the Audi A2 and the Volkswagen Lupo get 80 mpg over in Europe and the Honda Insight gets 102 mpg in Japan. However, those vehicles don’t meet U.S. emissions standards and no other domestic model has even approached triple digits. With the increased emphasis on fuel-efficiency in today’s market, the 2009 Prius would break new automotive ground and effectively lap the competition.
In the end, we’ll have to wait and see if Toyota can make good on the buzz it just created. 100 mpg in Japan won’t necessarily equal 100 mpg in the U.S., especially with different testing standards and driving conditions in the two countries. Hopefully for us, the 2009 Toyota Prius won’t lose anything in the translation when it hits our shores.
– posted by Taeho Lim