Engineers of Tomorrow: Toyota Helps Michigan Science Center ‘Catch ‘Em All’

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$1.44 Million Donation to Renovate Theater, Increase Reach of STEM Education

Detroit (July 21, 2016) -- Inspiring today’s students to become tomorrow’s science and engineering leaders is something Toyota believes is critical to society. Whether it’s autonomous cars, flying cars or something that has yet to be envisioned, the future of mobility depends on sparking children’s interests in engineering and science careers.

Likewise, as the region continues to face a shortage of STEM professionals, it is important to expose children to the different opportunities and career choices available to them. In support of creating that next generation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) professionals, Toyota has donated $1.44 million to Michigan Science Center (MiSci) located in Midtown Detroit. This donation is the latest of many efforts by Toyota to promote and expand STEM education initiatives.

“It’s critical to foster innovative thinking at a young age,” said Toyota Technical Center Senior Vice President Jeff Makarewicz. “Developing that interest early on can create great opportunities not only for students, but for the industry as well. We’re excited to make this donation, and for our continued partnership with the Michigan Science Center.”

The donation will be used to transform and upgrade the Toyota Engineering Theatre (TET). The TET is a unique, 4D multi-media experience that engages visitors with the transformative, dynamic and exciting world of engineers and engineering.

Since MiSci’s opening in 2012, the TET has hosted more than 94,000 students, families and curious minds of all ages. In the past 8 years however, engineering has changed and the STEM sector has continued to grow. With Toyota’s support, MiSci will be able to meet these new demands and upgrade the theater’s technology, creating a more robust experience. The upgrades will include a state-of-the-art HD projection system with 3D viewing capabilities; enhanced space and lighting for a more immersive experience, and the creation of universally designed videos that play in 4D theaters and standard digital media players.

The funding will also help MiSci expand its ability to foster STEM education by developing all-new programming and educational connected learning initiatives for both teachers and students.

“Toyota’s donation allows the Science Center to do more than just upgrade the TET. This is an opportunity for us to present STEM in a relatable and relevant way, while increasing student interest in STEM careers,” said Tonya Matthews, Michigan Science Center president and CEO. “This opportunity allows us to continue our mission of being a premier institute for STEM learning and experiences in Michigan.”

The Toyota Engineering Theatre and connected learning programs are designed to combat common misconceptions surrounding engineering by portraying engineering and the world of science and math in a fun, dynamic way.


Toyota Presents Community Stars

Fifteenth Annual STAR Awards Recognize Volunteer Transportation Services
 
Toyota Prius Awarded to the Senior Connection

PORTLAND, ORE. (May 24, 2016) - Through the passenger-side window, 83-year-old Ferne Fabis points with excitement at the new bakery set to open soon near her home in Rockville, Maryland. New people and places have always been Ferne’s passion – even after a leg injury forced her to give up her driver’s license.
 
Now, at least once a week, Ferne travels with volunteer drivers from the Senior Connection. Sometimes it’s to the grocery store, other times the doctor’s office, but every time Ferne says it’s the wonderful volunteers that make the difference. It’s this commitment to keeping seniors like Ferne connected to their community that has earned the Senior Connection national recognition and a new Toyota Prius.
 
Today, Toyota presented the 2015 STAR Awards for volunteer transportation service at the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) EXPO in Portland, Ore.  In addition to the Senior Connection’s Grand Star Award 2016 Toyota Prius, $50,000 in cash awards were presented to 15 award-winning volunteer transportation programs across America (see complete award recipient list below).  
 
“Mobility is about more than getting from A to B,” said Latondra Newton, Toyota Motor North America group vice president, social innovation. “Mobility is about connection - to loved ones, the community and needed services. The staff and volunteers of the Senior Connection aren’t just drivers, they are conductors of these community connections, as are all the STAR award winning organizations.”
 
This year’s Grand STAR Award winner, the Senior Connection, is the largest provider of free, volunteer transportation to seniors in Montgomery County, MD.  Since 2004, the Senior Connection has provided more than 280,000 services to over 7,000 seniors, with the help from more than 1,800 community volunteers.
 
“To know that organizations like Toyota recognize the importance of volunteer transportation and the power of what we are doing, it’s just huge,” said Tim Shaw, executive director of Senior Connection. “I really believe that this sort of support can drive change in communities across the country to do more to help seniors stay mobile and stay connected.”
 
2016 STAR Award applications are now available online= athttp://nationalvolunteertransportationcenter.org.  The 2016 Grand STAR Award Winner will receive a Toyota Mobility Sienna minivan. 
 
In their 15th year, the annual STAR Awards recognize outstanding volunteer transportation programs and enable winners to continue the involvement of their volunteer drivers in promoting and providing transportation services. The awards are organized by the National Volunteer Transportation Center (NVTC), an initiative of the CTAA. The NVTC provides technical and informational support to volunteer driver programs in the U.S.
 
2015 STAR AWARD WINNERS
 
GRAND STAR AWARD WINNER (2016 TOYOTA PRIUS)

  • The Senior Connection – Silver Spring, MD

 
STAR AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE ($10,000)

  • The Senior Care Volunteer Network – Crystal Lake, IL

 
STAR AWARDS FOR DISTINCTION ($7,500)

  • TASC – Hampton, NH
  • Hearts and Hands: Faith in Action – Getzville, NY

 
STAR AWARDS FOR QUALITY ($5,000)

  • Foothills Caring Corps – Carefree, AZ
  • Dial-a-Bus of Benton County – Corvallis, OR
  • Reach Out Morongo Basin – Twentynine Palms, CA

 
STAR AWARDS FOR INNOVATION ($2,500)

  • Elder Buddies – Bangor, ME
  • Friendly Visitor Program – Middletown, NY
  • Faith in Action Caregivers – Martins Ferry, OH
  • Indian River County Ambulance – Vero Beach, FL

 
STAR AWARDS FOR MERIT ($1,000)
ECCHO – Port Townsend, WA

  • Escorted Transportation Service NW – Arlington Heights, IL
  • Interfaith Caregivers of Haddonfield – Haddonfield, NJ
  • In Service of Seniors – Pittsburgh, PA
  • Interfaith Senior Programs – Waukesha, WI

 
HONORABLE MENTION AWARDS

  • Veteran and Countrywide Volunteer Transportation Program – Sturgeon Bay, WI
  • Rural Transit Service, Inc. – Brant, NY
  • RSVP of Dane County: Driver Services – Madison, WI
  • Patient Navigators – Framingham, MA
  • Kibbitz & Ride Volunteer Transportation Program – Delray Beach, FL
  • Silver Spring Village, Inc. – Silver Spring, MD
  • NORC Volunteer Transportation Services – Atlanta, GA
  • Catholic Charities – Honolulu, HI
  • Wet Mountain Valley Rotary Community Service – Westcliffe, CO
  • Red Cross Transportation Service – Grand Rapids, MI
  • Shepherd’s Center of Greater Tupelo – Tupelo, MS
  • St. Claire’s Catholic Social Services – Hyannis, MA

On the Road to Autonomous Driving, Toyota Establishes Ever Deeper Roots in Ann Arbor Tech Community with Third US Research Facility

Toyota Research Institute-ANN Will Fund Artificial Intelligence, Materials Science and Robotics Research at University of Michigan
 
Walking Distance to Campus, Facility Targets Staff of 50
 

SAN JOSE (April 7, 2016) -- Dr. Gill Pratt, CEO of the Toyota Research Institute (TRI), announced today that Toyota will establish its third TRI facility in the U.S. The new facility will be located in Ann Arbor, near the University of Michigan (U-M) campus where it will fund research in artificial intelligence, robotics and materials science.  Joining the TRI facility established last January in Palo Alto working with Stanford (TRI-PAL), and in Cambridge working with MIT (TRI-CAM), TRI-ANN is scheduled to open in June and target a staff of approximately 50.
 
“Beyond the extraordinary work that U-M is doing broadly in advancing automotive safety research—and in autonomous driving, in particular-- Toyota has deep roots in the Ann Arbor community,” said Pratt, in keynote remarks at the GPU Technology Conference today. “TRI was drawn to Ann Arbor because of the strength of the university; the utility of Mcity and the Mobility Transformation Center which we currently sponsor; the promise of the future American Center for Mobility at Willow Run; and the proximity to, and synergies with, our two well-established Toyota Technical Centers nearby.”
 
The Toyota Technical Centers have been conducting research in the area of autonomous cars for more than a decade.  A group of about 15 team members will transfer to the new TRI-ANN facility when it opens.  U-M Professors Ryan Eustice and Edwin Olson are joining TRI-ANN as the area leads for mapping/localization and perception, respectively. Both will be based at the Ann Arbor office, and will retain their U-M faculty positions. 
 
"Sensor hardware and algorithms are improving at a tremendous pace. TRI researchers will push the frontier even further, with the goal of providing safer vehicles and more helpful robots in the home," said Olson.  Eustice added, “Ann Arbor is a fantastic location for TRI to expand its autonomous driving efforts. We will benefit from Toyota’s existing team and U-M’s research talent and facilities where we can perform extreme-limit testing in a wide variety of environments.”
 
Although the focus of each of the three strategically located facilities will be broad, each will feature a different core discipline.  TRI-ANN will focus primarily on fully autonomous (chauffeured) driving.  TRI-PAL will work on what may be termed “guardian angel” driving, where the driver is always engaged but the vehicle assists as needed. TRI-CAM will dedicate a large portion of its work to simulation and deep learning.
 
The Toyota Research Institute is an enterprise designed to bridge the gap between fundamental research and product development.  With initial funding of $1 billion, it has four initial mandates.
 
First, it will strive to enhance the safety of automobiles with the ultimate goal of creating a car that is incapable of causing a crash, regardless of the skill or condition of the driver.
 
Second, it will work to increase access to cars to those who otherwise cannot drive, including seniors and those with special needs.
 
Third, it will help translate Toyota’s expertise in creating products for outdoor mobility into products for indoor mobility; moving people and goods across the country, across town, or across the room.
 
Finally, TRI will accelerate scientific discovery by applying techniques from artificial intelligence and machine learning, particularly in the area of materials science.  Using computation and machine learning, it hopes to accelerate scientific discovery in this area, lowering costs and improving performance of future mobility systems.
 
Beyond the projects it will engage in with the three universities (more than 30 are already underway at Stanford and MIT), TRI is enthusiastically pursuing collaboration with other automakers, IT companies, suppliers, research labs and universities to jointly develop autonomous technologies.
 
“Although the industry, including Toyota, has made great strides in the last five years, much of what we have collectively accomplished has been easy, because most driving is easy,” said Pratt.  “Where we need autonomy to help most is when the driving is difficult.  It’s this hard part that TRI intends to address. Toyota’s goal is safer mobility for all, at any time, in any place, and the tremendous improvements in quality of life that such universal mobility can bring.”


Environment: Watch It Like a Hawk

Toyota team members are creatures of habitat.
 
And a few who test vehicles for performance and reliability have become a part-time pit crew for red-tailed hawks at Toyota Arizona Proving Ground (TAPG) in Phoenix.
 
The situation took flight in June 2008 when a plumed pair built a nest on a utility pole at the facility. Unfortunately one of the adults died, leaving behind a chick.
 
“We called in the experts,” says Daryl Petry, TAPG senior specialist. “Liberty Wildlife brought the baby hawk to their rehabilitation center and nurtured it for six months then brought it back for release.”
 
Hawks often refurbish nests used in previous years, and team members hoped to entice the surviving parental unit to return. But for safety concerns – and to avoid power outages – team members put up a 15-meter pole and transferred the nest to it.
 
Giving the roost a boost worked. The high-traffic hatchery has been home to eight additional hawks, and team members continue to watch over them.  Earlier this year, they found a chick out of the nest, and again they called Liberty Wildlife, which rehabilitated the young hawk.
 
“Many thanks to the wildlife specialists for helping us make this a success,” says Petry.  “The hawks are amazing to watch.”
 
To see other ways Toyota and its people nurture nature, shake a tail feather over to Toyota’s 2015 North American Environmental Report. #ToyotaEnviroReport
 


Scrap That’s Not Crap

Toyota’s North American Parts Operation Gives New Life to Used Vehicle Parts 

Toyota has bumped up efforts to reduce waste by recycling old vehicle bumper covers and other scrap parts.

In partnership with Boles Parts Supply (BPS), Toyota created the National Scrap Program in 2014, a one-stop shop for all of Toyota’s North American Parts Operation’s (NAPO) recycling needs. Accepting the challenge to help Toyota recycle old bumper covers, BPS began shredding them into plastic pellets. The pellets are now sold to a vendor where they take on a second life as part of the materials used to create new plastic automotive parts. 

The program piloted with Toyota’s two largest parts centers – Ontario, Calif., and Hebron, Ky. – and in the first 15 months helped recycle over 40,000 pounds of cloth and foam, two materials previously incinerated or sent to landfills.

Between April 2014 and June 2015, it expanded to parts distribution centers in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland,  and more than doubled the amount of cloth, foam, glass and rubber recycled – over 88,000 pounds. Toyota is currently reviewing the program for potential roll-out to remaining parts distribution centers by the end of fiscal year 2017.

“We’ve been enormously pleased with the success of this program,” said Juliana Dee, manager of the program at NAPO. “Thanks to our partner BPS, we are giving a second life to things that used to be trash and making a real improvement in our recycling rate.”

To find out more about Toyota’s material efforts to minimize waste, roll over to the 2015 North American Environmental Report


 


Toyota Camry Hybrid Enforces More Law Per Gallon

ARKADELPHIA, Ark., Jan. 21, 2016 – On the surface, it’s just an environmental thing: A gas/electric hybrid is going to emit less pollutants than a gasoline-only power train. But it’s also going to use less fuel and get more mpg and at low speeds, it’s quieter than a gasoline engine.  Think of it as a “stealth mode” when running only on electric power.  For a cop car, that makes it easier to sneak up on the bad guys.  These are just a few of the advantages discovered by the Arkadelphia, Arkansas Police Department when they replaced 10 of their aging Crown Victorias with Toyota Camry Hybrids.
 
At first, “I was dead set against it,” says veteran officer Don Cleek.  “To me, a police car’s supposed to be rear wheel drive, V8 and can go through ditches.” In short, he didn’t believe the hybrids would be up to the job.  But that didn’t stop city manager Jimmy Bolt from pushing Chief of Police Al Harris to give the Camry Hybrids a try.  After a few months in the field, it was pretty clear:  The hybrids were doing every bit as well on the job as the Crown Vics.  What’s more, they were getting about 27 mpg in all-city driving (compared to about 12 to 14 mpg on the Crown Vics) AND thanks to the fuel savings and much lower maintenance costs, the city of Arkadelphia was saving itself about 3% of its annual budget.  In short, even Officer Cleek now agrees it’s a lot easier to be an environmentalist when you’re catching the crooks and saving money to boot!
 
You can see the whole story for yourself in a new short documentary by filmmaker Peter Byck, director of 2011’s Carbon Nation. Click here to watch the film. To learn more about Toyota’s Hybrid Technology, visit the Toyota display this week at the Washington, DC Auto Show, January 22-31, 2016, at the Washington Convention Center.


Environment: Watch It Like a Hawk

Toyota team members are creatures of habitat.
 
And a few who test vehicles for performance and reliability have become a part-time pit crew for red-tailed hawks at Toyota Arizona Proving Ground (TAPG) in Phoenix.
 
The situation took flight in June 2008 when a plumed pair built a nest on a utility pole at the facility. Unfortunately one of the adults died, leaving behind a chick.
 
“We called in the experts,” says Daryl Petry, TAPG senior specialist. “Liberty Wildlife brought the baby hawk to their rehabilitation center and nurtured it for six months then brought it back for release.”
 
Hawks often refurbish nests used in previous years, and team members hoped to entice the surviving parental unit to return. But for safety concerns – and to avoid power outages – team members put up a 15-meter pole and transferred the nest to it.
 
Giving the roost a boost worked. The high-traffic hatchery has been home to eight additional hawks, and team members continue to watch over them.  Earlier this year, they found a chick out of the nest, and again they called Liberty Wildlife, which rehabilitated the young hawk.
 
“Many thanks to the wildlife specialists for helping us make this a success,” says Petry.  “The hawks are amazing to watch.”
 
To see other ways Toyota and its people nurture nature, shake a tail feather over to Toyota’s 2015 North American Environmental Report. #ToyotaEnviroReport
 


Toyota Is Tops for Hispanic Consumers

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2016 Tacoma and 2016 Mirai Take Home Hispanic Motor Press Awards® at the Los Angeles Auto Show

 

Los Angeles (Nov. 20, 2015) – Highlighting a commitment to innovation, superior design and appeal to Hispanic families, the Hispanic Motor Press Awards® has named the 2016 Toyota Mirai and 2016 Toyota Tacoma among its Best Cars of 2016. The Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle was honored with the Innovation Award, while the Tacoma mid-size pickup was selected best Pickup L-Duty truck.
 
Jack Hollis, group vice president of Marketing, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., accepted the awards on behalf of the company at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday. Ricardo Rodriguez-Long, the jury director for the 6th annual awards, presented Hollis with these honors.
 
“Hispanic consumers represent a critically important market for Toyota, and we dedicate a great deal of time to understanding how we can design and market our vehicles to meet their needs,” said Hollis. “We’re thrilled to receive these awards today, and thank the jurors for recognizing two vehicles that we’re extremely proud to bring to customers.”
 
The jury for the 6th annual Hispanic Motor Press Awards® was made up of 15 Hispanic journalists who frequently cover the automotive industry. The vehicles are assessed for how well they match the needs of the Hispanic consumer, with a vetting process than includes test drives, market availability and affordability. They also factored in the design, comfort, safety, performance, functionality, accessory content, driver satisfaction, consumer final cost and overall value.

“After closely reviewing more than 100 vehicles this year, Toyota rose to the top among our jury panel for its commitment to innovation with the Mirai. This is a car that leads the industry towards the future. The new Tacoma raises the bar in the segment with superior mechanics and interior design,” said Rodriguez-Long. “Not only are these two vehicles best in class, they also offer great value to the Hispanic consumer, which represents a growing market for new vehicle sales.”
 
The Toyota Mirai is a mid-size sedan that uses no gasoline and emits nothing but water vapor. The innovative fuel cell vehicle is powered by hydrogen. The Mirai offers an EPA-estimated 67 miles per gallon equivalent (mpge) city/highway/combined, and an EPA-estimated driving range of 312 miles on a single fill of hydrogen.
 
Toyota celebrated the official on-sale date of the Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle on Oct. 21, with more than 2,000 consumers already raising their hands to purchase this all-new vehicle. Trailblazing customers across California have already started to receive their vehicles from the eight authorized Toyota California dealers.

The Toyota Tacoma, America’s best-selling mid-size pickup for 10 years running, was redesigned for 2016, taking into account ruggedness, design and performance in horsepower and fuel efficiency. The truck boasts a new powertrain and off-road technology. It also has premium interior features such as wireless charging and a GoPro® camera mount.
 


If You’re Interested In Workplace Equality, You Might Want To Work For Toyota

HRC Recognizes Toyota as a Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality

PLANO, Texas (Nov. 18, 2015) – What’s not to love about respecting people for the job they do and creating an environment that’s always improving?

According to the Human Rights Campaign, Toyota is all over it.

The same company that brings you the hydrogen fuel cell Mirai and the groundbreaking Prius received a perfect “100” on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2016 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT workplace equality. Toyota has achieved the top score on CEI consecutively since 2008, reflecting strong corporate diversity and inclusion programs and policies.
 
“We are proud to be recognized once again by HRC and to celebrate this achievement with all our Team members under One Toyota,” said Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America. “Toyota’s LGBT and Diversity & Inclusion initiatives reflect our core values of respect for people and continuous improvement. We are committed to an inclusive and welcoming workplace, and to enriching society and our customers’ lives. We will continue to support the LGBT community nationwide and I am proud of this recognition of Toyota as a best place to work.”
 
This is the first time that all of Toyota’s U.S. operations have been jointly recognized by HRC as a single One Toyota company.
 
The 2016 CEI rated 1,027 businesses, evaluating LGBT-related policies and practices including non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive health care benefits, competency programs, and public engagement with the LGBT community. Toyota was one of only 407 of those businesses evaluated that earned a top score of 100. For more information on the 2016 Corporate Equality Index, or to download a free copy of the report, visitwww.hrc.org/cei.


Return of the Disrupter: All-New 2016 Toyota Prius Rewrites the Hybrid Rule Book It Created

  • Striking exterior design ushers in new hybrid era
  • New hybrid system with notable fuel economy boost
  • New platform with double wishbone rear suspension dials up driving dynamics
  • First vehicle based on Toyota’s New Global Architecture
  • Available Toyota Safety Sense system with automatic pre-collision braking

2016 Toyota Prius Product Information

Nearly two decades before “disrupting” became a good thing to do, Toyota did it to the auto industry by launching the world’s first mass production gasoline/electric hybrid vehicle, the Prius. After selling more than 3.5 million worldwide and helping steer the industry toward hybridization, Toyota is introducing another disruptor -- the all-new fourth-generation 2016 Prius liftback. The new version of this global green icon takes the hybrid concept farther than ever with striking design, with expected higher fuel economy ratings, and greater ride comfort. New levels of driving satisfaction and refinement will reward the Prius faithful and surprise those new to the movement.

“Modern.” “Dramatic.” “Emotional.” Take your pick of adjectives to describe the new Prius’ design. The shape may be familiar, but the new Prius is longer, lower and wider than its esteemed predecessors, to offer more interior room and provide a more planted stance for handling agility. Aerodynamic goals inspired the shape to help Prius score an increase in fuel economy ratings over the previous model.

The 2016 Prius is anticipating fuel economy ratings of 54 MPG city / 50 MPG highway / 52 MPG combined (Final EPA figures pending.). That’s better than any mass-produced passenger vehicle available without a plug. And, as before, the Prius sips regular-grade gasoline. A new Eco grade model is expecting ratings of 58 MPG city / 53 MPG highway / 56 MPG combined thanks to lighter weight and further optimized aerodynamics.
 
The new Prius’ premium interior debuts advanced technology complemented by features that are functional, fun and also delight the eyes. The wrap-around dash design, form-hugging seats, ease of controls and enhanced visibility combine to make the new Prius a highly engaging automobile. The new Prius interior is much quieter than the previous model, creating an ideal environment in which to enjoy Toyota Entune® multimedia and connectivity.

Safety is important, of course, and the 2016 Prius will be among the first U.S. models to offer Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS (P)), a new multi-feature advanced safety package anchored by automatic pre-collision braking. TSS bundles cutting edge safety technologies including Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection; Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist; Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Automatic High Beams.

“This Prius will invite new drivers into the category by delivering an impressive look and feel, built on the foundation of safety and eco-consciousness that define the vehicle’s heritage,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division.
 
Making the Grade
The new Prius comes in six grades, catering to a wide variety of tastes and needs. The new grade strategy includes:

  • The well-equipped entry level Prius Two for hybrid buyers on a budget. 
  • The Prius Two Eco for buyers looking for even greater fuel efficiency and an added dose of technology.
  • The Prius Three adds more convenience and technology features,
  • The Prius Three Touring grade for buyers looking for a more dynamic driving experience
  • The top-of-the-line Prius Four
  • And the Prius Four Touring for drivers who want it all.    

Standard features exclusive to the sporty Touring grades include 17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels with P215/45R17 tires, integrated fog lights, LED clearance lamps, and a unique rear bumper treatment.  
 
New Hybrid Powertrain, New Efficiency Breakthrough
As in the third-generation Prius, Hybrid Synergy Drive combines the output of a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine and two motor/generators through an electronically controlled planetary-type continuously variable transmission (CVT). The 2016 Prius uses smaller, lighter hybrid components, including a new lithium-ion hybrid battery that replaces the nickel-metal hydride battery (excluding the Prius Two non-Eco grade) in most models. The new battery’s smaller size and flatter shape allow it to be packaged under the rear seat, rather than beneath the luggage area, yielding more cargo space.

The new hybrid system operates more efficiently and more quietly and offers a higher level of driving performance than in the previous model. The smaller transaxle and power control unit allow for the auxiliary battery to be installed in the engine compartment. New shift-by-wire technology uses electric signals to transmit shift operations and offers light, fingertip operation from the dash-mounted shifter. A “P” position switch provides one-touch engagement of the parking gear.
The Prius driver can choose between new selectable Normal and Power driving modes. Normal balances both fuel economy and acceleration feel; Power prioritizes acceleration feel.

The new hybrid transaxle and motor use a multi-shaft layout with higher motor speed range and a reduction gear mounted on a parallel shaft to reduce parasitic losses by 20 percent compared to the previous model. An enhanced DC-DC boost converter contributes to enhanced fuel economy by reducing output current in low-load situations.
 
Engine of Change
Often in the discussion of hybrids, the internal combustion engine gets lost in the mix. But the technical razzle-dazzle isn’t solely the domain of the electrical side. The retuned 2ZR-FXE 1.8-liter gasoline engine in the 2016 Prius achieves groundbreaking 40 percent-plus thermal efficiency, thanks to reduced friction of the rotating assembly and internal parts and improved combustion. On top of that, both the intake and exhaust systems are quieter than before.

Among new features is the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system with a cooler, which operates even at the engine’s maximum output to enable an ideal stoichiometric air/fuel ratio across the entire powerband. A smaller, lighter and quieter hybrid system water pump also does its part to reduce energy consumption.
 
Getting the engine up to operating temperature quickly is critical to conserving fuel at start-up. In the 2016 Prius, an exhaust heat recirculation system uses the heat of exhaust gases to speed engine coolant warm-up. That in turn allows the hybrid system to stop the engine earlier and more often in the driving cycle when it’s not needed, for example in low-power-demand city driving conditions.
Because the Prius, under certain situations, can operate in battery mode alone, it incorporates a Vehicle Proximity Notification System to help alert pedestrians and cyclists. A small in-vehicle speaker emits a low but noticeable warning tone when traveling below approximately 15 mph, and the sound changes with vehicle speed.
 
Going With The Wind
Though shaped by the wind tunnel, the Prius’s design is as much about emotion as brains. Designers imbued the new model with a greater sense of excitement. Inspired by a runner in the starting blocks, the sporty design conveys a feeling of forward motion.

The “Triangle Silhouette” that defined the second and third-generation Prius models has been reimagined. In profile, it is longer and sleeker with the overall outline evoking an athletic shape. The hood is lower, and in fact the name badge on the front is at the same height as on the Scion FR-S sports car.

The distinctive roof peak has been moved forward by 6.7 inches (170mm) to further reduce drag while still ensuring ample rear-seat headroom. Edgy character lines run along the side from the front fenders. One is just above the sill that sweeps up towards the rear fender, while the upper crease morphs into the rear spoiler. The rocker panel features a distinctive light-catching upward-facing surface that begins at the lowest part of the vehicle to highlight its stable low stance.

New standard Bi-LED headlamps dominate the Prius’ front fascia and give it an unforgettable face. Automatic headlamp leveling keeps the beam focused on the road and helps prevent blinding drivers in oncoming vehicles.

The unique and striking rear combination lamps express the distinctive lines of the Prius from the rear spoiler to the trailing edges of the sides and leave one of the most evocative nighttime signatures on the road today.
 
A palette of seven exterior colors includes an all-new Toyota hue, Hypersonic Red. A newly developed treatment process yields a deep and vibrant luster highlighting the external forms. Perhaps red will be the new green!
 
Looks Great, Less Wind Resistance
While turning heads, the new Prius design slices through the air with a 0.24 coefficient of drag (Cd), among the lowest of current production passenger cars.  The sleek shape is aided by myriad details to keep the wind going on its way. An automatic grille shutter reduces drag by closing when airflow to the radiator is not needed. It remains closed after a cold start to allow the engine to reach optimal operating temperature quickly, helping to save fuel.

Aero stabilizing fins on the underfloor covers, front quarter window garnish and tail lamps likewise keep air moving in a smooth pattern. Front spats and covers on either side of the fuel tank help prevent airflow from being agitated by the tires and suspension.
 
High Visibility Position
The new Prius design, while sleeker than before, does not compromise driver visibility. Quite the contrary, the view to the front and sides is better than ever, starting with a lower cowl. A new pillar position and structure and larger quarter glass widen the view.

The view to the rear gets better, as well, thanks to larger rear door glass and larger fixed rear quarter windows, the latter now positioned on the rear doors. As on the previous model, a full-width glass panel beneath the rear spoiler aids rearward visibility. A backup camera comes standard on all grades. The interior rear view mirror is larger, and the exterior folding side mirrors offer a larger field of view thanks to reduced curvature. Their new shape and location also help reduce wind noise.
 
When “Longer, Lower, Wider” is a Good Thing
Beneath the new Prius’ dramatically styled skin lies the solid foundation of Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA), an innovative and integrated approach to developing new platforms and powertrains for Toyota.  In the case of the 2016 Prius, the platform introduces a new high-strength body structure, new double-wishbone independent rear suspension and low center of gravity to yield a considerably more engaging driving experience while also providing a markedly smoother and quieter ride than the previous model.
 
Engineered from the ground up, the new Prius is 2.4 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider and 0.8 inches lower than the model it replaces (on the same 106.3-in. wheelbase), providing a planted on-road presence while delivering more occupant and cargo room. The gasoline engine, electric motor and seating positions have been lowered to increase front and rear head room while at the same time achieving an aerodynamic, low stance.

A lower center of gravity and a more responsive suspension system, hallmarks of TNGA, dial up the driving pleasure in the 2016 Prius. That’s especially true for the Touring grade, which equips the Prius with 17-inch wheels and 215/45R17 tires and special suspension tuning. The new 17-inch wheels are 1.5 pounds lighter than those on the previous model. The light alloy 15-inch wheels on other grades are a half-inch wider than before (now 6.5 in.) and stronger, which helps reduce road noise. Aerodynamic wheel covers enhance the sporty look while catching less air. All Prius models roll on super low rolling resistance tires that are also optimized for grip.
 
Make a Double Wish
The promise of greater agility and sporty driving character in the 2016 Prius comes backed by a feature that defines the best sport sedans: double wishbone rear suspension. Replacing the previous torsion beam type suspension used on previous models, this new trailing-arm design greatly enhances handling, control and ride comfort and also allows increased luggage space. Soft trailing-arm bushings are tuned specifically to reduce road shock, and bushings on all arm joints reduce friction.
 
A Source of Strength and Calm
The more rigid structural framework of the TNGA platform also greatly contributes to the high level of handling responsiveness, steering feel and ride quality. Hot-stamped and high tensile steel, which allows for intricate forms that are both lightweight and strong, is used extensively throughout the new Prius body. More extensive use of aluminum components, including the hood and rear doorframes, keeps vehicle weight in check and also helps to reduce the center of gravity. Innovative fastening methods such as laser screw welding and advanced body adhesives help create a rigid structure.
 
The high strength upper body is designed to distribute frontal collision impact energy. The hood and cowl structure have been optimized for pedestrian protection in certain low speed collisions.
 
Brakes That Help Save Fuel
Even when it’s slowing down, the Prius conserves energy. The regenerative brake system switches the motor into a generator to recover kinetic energy of the still-turning wheels as electrical power, which is then stored in the hybrid battery.

The Electronically Controlled Brake System uses sensors to detect how much the driver is pressing the brake pedal and determines how much brake force is required from the new active hydraulic brake booster. The system coordinates control between the hybrid system’s regenerative braking and the hydraulic brake force. Brake calipers are aluminum, like on exotic sports cars.
 
Form and Function, Looking Good
The Toyota Prius brought not only a futuristic trend to exterior design, but also to interior configuration, delivering mid-size room in a compact package. The 2016 Prius continues the trend and is now more premium in design and feel.

The intuitive concept of former Prius generations continues, anchored by a centrally mounted gauge panel. The information displays and the center display wrap around the instrument panel, showing a layered structure. A seamless flow from the instrument panel into the door trim creates an open, airy ambience.

The soft instrument panel and trim surfaces convey a smooth, warm feel. High-contrast interior colors available include Moonstone Gray, Harvest Beige and Black. Accents on the side air vents and seat stitching, available in three colors depending on model grade, heighten the more emotive feel of the cabin. Features that drivers use on a regular basis, including a new electric fuel lid release, are placed close to hand for intuitive operation. The look may seem futuristic, but the driver does not need an advanced degree to use the controls.
 
Information Central
In the 2016 Prius, the electronic information cluster appears to float through a carefully carved, almost invisible rear surface. The new panel features dual 4.2-inch full-color TFT (Thin Film Transistor) multi-information displays, and their content can be changed using steering wheel controls. To suit the mood, the display background color changes depending on selected driving mode. Choose Power mode, and the background becomes racy red. Select Normal mode for a soothing blue glow.

The display provides a multitude of readouts for hybrid energy information and much more, but best of all, the driver can choose how much information to receive by selecting either Simple or Segmented display modes.

Simple mode shows a large vehicle speed display, remaining fuel, drive mode indicator, outside temperature, odometer functions and cruising range. The Segmented display presents more detail about hybrid operation, including instantaneous fuel economy, hybrid battery state of charge and a suite of ECO functions to encourage efficient driving habits. An ECO Score function grades the driver’s efficiency performance; ECO Wallet displays the total gasoline cost and gasoline cost savings for a single trip, and by month; ECO Diary records and displays driving history, and ECO Accelerator Guidance helps coach the driver to drive in a more fuel-efficient manner.

A driving support display shows the status of features such as radar cruise control, Lane Departure Alert and other systems. The driver can cycle through the Multi-Information Display content using steering wheel-mounted switches. After the vehicle is turned off, the display will remain on for 30 seconds to show elapsed time, distance traveled, average fuel economy, Eco Score result, and driving advice to help enhance fuel economy.
 
Noise Controlled
The most critical element of the new Prius interior becomes apparent only once underway: quietness. With a lighter, more efficient hybrid system and greater usage of high-strength, light-weight body materials, Toyota was able to significantly increase noise control measures without hurting the vehicle’s fuel economy or performance.
 
New noise-control features and materials throughout the body, engine compartment and cabin combine to give the 2016 Prius a serene passenger cabin. A sound-insulating laminated windshield glass and numerous new sound absorbers in the dash structure reduce noise intrusion. Higher-grade models feature sound-insulating laminated front door glass, as well.

Below the carpeting lies a significantly thicker floor silencer pad. Above the occupants, a urethane-based headliner, along with the ribbed structure of the front pillar trim, helps absorb sound.  No detail was too small to escape attention. For example, labyrinth-style clips in the door drain holes prevent sound from intruding yet still facilitate drainage.  Above the occupants, a urethane-based headliner and the ribbed structure of the front pillar trim helps absorb sound.

Attention to the outer body surfaces reduces wind noise at the sources, such as adding rain gutter moldings next to the windshield and improving the transition between the windshield glass and front pillar.
 
Cocoon of Comfort
The 2016 Toyota Prius may be the most comfortable way to conserve fuel. Amenities abound in this roomier, quieter model, with comfort and convenience manifesting in many details. Take the tilt and telescoping steering wheel, for example. Depending on model grade, it comes wrapped in urethane or SofTex® synthetic leather. The synthetic leather features surface temperature-regulating properties to make it feel more comfortable in hot or cold weather.

The air conditioning system uses a new, quieter electric compressor, and the Smart-flow (S-FLOW) mode focuses airflow only to areas where occupants are seated in order to help maximize fuel economy and comfort. The system’s slim climate control panel conveys a luxurious feel with piano black finish for the switches and chrome accents. Each control is arranged directly underneath its corresponding display, for intuitive operation.

A pollen-eliminating cabin air filter comes standard. In the Prius Eco grade, heat-insulating IR-cut windshield glass substantially reduces transmission of infrared rays to help ensure a comfortable cabin, especially in the summer. It also reduces the air conditioning system workload, which helps to save fuel. In cold weather, a positive temperature coefficient ceramic heater warms the cabin quickly without relying on the engine coolant to come up to operating temperature.
 
In Tune With Entune®
The Prius comes ready to connect with your world through its Entune Audio systems. The Entune Audio system standard on Prius Two and Prius Two Eco grades includes the Entune Multimedia Bundle (6.1 in. touch-screen display, AM/FM CD player, six speakers, auxiliary audio jack, USB 2.0 port with iPod® connectivity and control, advanced voice recognition, hands-free phone capability, phone book access and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology), plus Siri® Eyes Free mode and an integrated backup camera display.

On all other grades, the standard Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation system and Entune App Suite® includes all of those features plus a seven-inch high resolution touch-screen with split screen display, Entune App Suite, HD radio, HD predictive traffic and Doppler weather overlay, AM/FM cache radio, SiriusXM All Access Radio with 3-month complimentary trial and Gracenote album cover art.

As part of a package, the Prius Four grade exclusively offers the Entune Premium JBL® Audio system with Integrated Navigation and App Suite. To all features of the base and middle systems, it adds 10 JBL GreenEdge™ speakers in eight locations.

The Entune® App Suite - includes Destination Search, iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable®, Pandora®, Facebook Places, Yelp™ and Slacker Radio plus real-time info including traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports and stocks. Access to Entune® services is subscription free.

If you’ve got Qi-compatible devices (regardless of model or manufacturer), leave the charging cords at home, because the 2016 Prius offers a wireless charging system. Simply place a compatible device on the console pad to initiate charging.
 
New Toyota Safety Sense
The high-strength Prius cabin is enhanced for occupant protection in a collision, while inside, a full array of supplemental restraint system (SRS) airbags includes multi-stage driver and front passenger SRS dual-stage front airbags; driver and front passenger SRS side airbags; full-length SRS curtain airbags; a driver SRS knee airbag, and a front passenger SRS seat cushion airbag.

The 2016 Prius is one of the first Toyota models to offer Toyota Safety Sense P, an innovative package of driver assist technologies that, under certain conditions, can detect obstacles and automatically apply braking if necessary to help avoid collisions. The system employs new millimeter-wave radar and a monocular camera sensor to detect pedestrians, vehicles, and lane markers in the surrounding area.
 
Toyota Safety Sense includes the following functions to support collision avoidance or driving operations:

  • Pre-collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection (PD)
  • Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist (SA)
  • Automatic High-beam (AHB
  • Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC); works in stop and go traffic down to a full stop.

More Tech, Greater Peace of Mind
Parking doesn’t get much easier than with available Intelligent Parking Assist (IPA), another technology making its debut outside of Japan. A simple system design using only ultrasonic wave sensors, IPA is activated by the driver to offer automatic steering into parallel parking spaces, or reversing into perpendicular spaces. The system also offers automatic steering to exit a parallel space.

An additional function of the sonar-based Park Assist system, the Toyota-first Intelligent Clearance Sonar provides visible and audible warnings if the driver gets too close to obstacles on the vehicle’s sides. An indicator on the Multi-information Display shows the obstacle’s location, and a warning is issued only when the system judges that there is a possibility of contact with the obstacle.
 
Value Pricing
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the 2016 Prius will range from $24,200 for the Prius Two model to $30,000 for the Prius Four Touring.

The MSRP for all Prius models does not include the delivery, processing, and handling (DPH) fee of $835.  The DPH fee for vehicles distributed by Southeast Toyota (SET) and Gulf States Toyota (GST) may vary.
 
Peace of Mind Warranty Protection
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and against corrosion with no mileage limitation. The hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for eight years/100,000 miles. In applicable states hybrid-related component coverage is 15 years/150,000 miles with the exception of the hybrid battery, which is covered for 10 years/150,000 miles.
 
The Prius also comes standard with Toyota Care, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. And, exclusive for Prius, three years (over the normal two) of 24-hour roadside assistance.

2016 Prius Pricing

Model # Model Body Style Transmission Grade MSRP
1223 Prius Hatchback CVT Two $24,200
1224 Prius Hatchback CVT Two Eco $24,700
1225 Prius Hatchback CVT Three $26,250
1226 Prius Hatchback CVT Three Touring $28,100
1227 Prius Hatchback CVT Four $28,650
1228 Prius Hatchback CVT Four Touring $30,000

All prices listed above exclude the Delivery, Processing, and Handling (DPH) fee.