The Tribune (NZ) - - MID WEEK MOTORING -

The first re­design of the Toy­ota Prius hy­brid in al­most seven years will make its de­but on Septem­ber 8 in Las Ve­gas.

Toy­ota last up­dated the Prius in 2009, but be­cause of lower fuel prices and the lack of up­dates, Ja­panese sales fell 31 per cent year to date to June, while de­liv­er­ies in the US dropped 14 per cent dur­ing the same pe­riod.

The re­vamped Prius will be the first model to im­ple­ment Toy­ota’s ef­fort to re­duce de­vel­op­ment costs by 20 per cent through shar­ing plat­forms, parts and power trains. It gets a smaller, lighter, more ef­fi­cient hy­brid power train and new elec­tric mo­tors with higher-power den­sity and an im­proved petrol en­gine. The sys­tem will drive the front wheels through a CVT, with ten per cent bet­ter fuel ef­fi­ciency.

A Prius plug-in hy­brid model, will be avail­able with a wire­less charg­ing sys­tem that works through a spe­cial pad placed in the owner’s garage or drive­way.

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