HYBRID THEORY

By February 8, 2017 News

Toyota Australia is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Prius, with its Aussie sales tally set to hit 20,000 sold units during February.

While petrolheads may not be popping the bubbly, Toyota may do, as total hybrid sales pass 75,000 this month also.

 

Now in its fourth iteration, the polarisingly styled Prius arrived in 2001 and is currently the world’s best-selling hybrid, with total global sales forecast to click past four million vehicles since its debut in the Land of the Rising Sun back in October 1997.

Fleets have no-doubt contributed largely to the success of the Prius, its nomenclature derived from Latin, meaning ‘superior’ or ‘first’. Executive director of sales and marketing Tony Cramb says it’s a strong legacy.

“Toyota continues to make advances with conventional petrol and diesel engines, as well as hybrids, electric vehicles, fuel-cell cars and other technologies,” he said.

“The original aims were focused on energy conservation and diversification of fuel sources, yet our latest line-up demonstrates that hybrid cars can also offer chassis dynamics that make driving fun,” he said.

“In fact, all Toyota’s hybrid cars are strong mainstream alternatives to traditional petrol and diesel powertrains.”

Prius was first shown as a concept at the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show, launched in Japan two years after, with an electric motor coupled to the 1.5-litre petrol engine. Japan’s Car of the Year award was given to the Prius and it was touted a forerunner of a new era of automotive environmental consciousness.

“Toyota continues to make advances with conventional petrol and diesel engines, as well as hybrids, electric vehicles, fuel-cell cars and other technologies,” Mr Cramb said.

“The original aims were focused on energy conservation and diversification of fuel sources, yet our latest line-up demonstrates that hybrid cars can also offer chassis dynamics that make driving fun,” he said.

“In fact, all Toyota’s hybrid cars are strong mainstream alternatives to traditional petrol and diesel powertrains.”

 

2010 saw the Camry receive hybrid drivetrain and last year the Corolla followed suit, the former selling 42,000 cars since (many of which were built here in Australia in Altona).