It would be hard to live up to the hyperbole with which Toyota introduced the new Prius. Toyota's Irv Miller set the stage by telling the assembled crowd that "the auto business is not just about buying and selling cars and trucks, it's about finding solutions to mobility challenges today and the greater challenges of the future."
"[The] Prius remains an icon for positive change," intoned Toyota division chief Bob Carter, before adding, "Prius is more than a hybrid, it's a solution." Okay then.
Strip away the text, though, and the numbers speak pretty clearly for themselves: 51 (mpg), the new combined EPA rating, versus 46 mpg for today's car 9.8 (seconds), the 0-to-60 time, which is lower by more than half a second, despite the improved fuel economy
0 (belts), on the new 1.8-liter engine; all accessories are electric driven
.25 (cD), the coefficient of drag
1000+ (patents), applied for in conjunction with the new Prius
5 (cubic feet), of additional interior space, in a footprint that's roughly the same size
80 (countries), in which Toyota will sell the Prius, twice as many as today
180,000 (sales), the projected annual U.S. sales for the new model