Prius Plug-in Hybrid has wasted no time in demonstrating its fuel-frugal
character, carrying off a class win in the 2011 RAC Future Car Challenge
on 5 November. It was the first outing for the production-ready car on
British roads ahead of its market launch next year and it marked its
debut with a 94.2mpg average fuel consumption over the 60-mile challenge
route from Brighton to London.
Hybrid delivers the “best of both worlds” in
terms of fuel efficiency and low emissions, and
an uncompromised driving range thanks to a
powertrain that features a high-capacity,
rechargeable lithium-ion battery and an
ultra-efficient 1.8-litre petrol engine with
intelligent valve timing – VVT-i. The advanced
battery technology allows the car to be driven
for around 14 miles on its electric power alone
– with no tailpipe emissions and zero fuel
consumption. Once Prius Plug-in Hybrid has
reached the limits of its electric range, it
switches seamlessly to its full hybrid system,
bringing the petrol engine into play. This means
the driver can avoid the range anxiety
associated with all-electric vehicles.
There's no question about Aygo's
success as one of the best value, fun-to-drive cars on the market, but
the time has come for some strategic changes that strengthen both its
performance and its owner-appeal.
In the first significant revisions
since Aygo broke on to the scene in 2005, Toyota's urban star gains a
new front-end design, new interior trims and new equipment features. And
to ensure it remains one of the cheapest new cars to run, its
multi-award-winning engine has been tweaked to bring CO2
emissions below the 100g/km mark and to push combined cycle fuel economy
The new Aygo will be revealed at the
Brussels motor show on 10 January and will go on sale in the UK in
March. Specifications, prices and further details of the UK model range
will be announced nearer the on-sale date.
Aygo has a fresh new look with a front-end treatment that follows
Toyota's new design language.
Echoing some of the features that characterise new Yaris, there is a
greater emphasis on the lower section of the car, to express a more
planted, purposeful stance. This can be seen in the wider front bumper,
with integrated foglights at each corner and a large trapezoidal air
intake. Optional LED daytime running lights set into the lower edge of
the grille add further emphasis to the look.
The upper front grille has been
rendered more slender, while the new bonnet design contributes more to
Aygo's overall road presence. The re-style has added just 15mm to Aygo's
length; other dimensions - including the tight 4.73m turning circle -
are unchanged, making the car as well-suited to life around town as
The design changes are not just about
looking good: the new bumper is more aerodynamically efficient while the
larger intake improves engine cooling performance.
Extra street style comes courtesy of
dark-tinted rear privacy glass for both three and five-door versions,
new 14-inch wheelcap designs and a range of seven exterior paint
choices, including a vibrant new metallic orange.
In the cabin the look and feel of the
fixtures and fittings has been improved. This higher perceived quality
can be witnessed in a new dark grey finish for the upper and lower
dashboard sections, giving the cabin a more integrated appearance.
A new-design steering wheel comes with
a leather trim, plus paddle controls on the steering column for models
using Toyota's Multimode automated manual transmission.
Adding an extra flash of style, the
ring surrounds of the speedometer, tachometer and air vents are finished
in grey, orange or black, with the front door speaker surrounds coloured
silver or orange.
Two audio systems are offered - a 35W
AM/FM/CD package with two or four speakers, or a new unit that comes
with Bluetooth, a multi-language display and a USB port for connecting
portable music players such as iPods.
The attention to detail goes as far as
changing the opening angle of the rear parcel shelf to give easier
access to the loadspace.
Aygo's Toyota-designed and manufactured three-cylinder 1.0-litre VVT-i
petrol engine is renowned for its spirited performance and superb
efficiency, reflected in multiple International Engine of the Year
Awards over the past few years. Detailed changes have achieved even
greater efficiency, reducing CO2 emissions and increasing
fuel economy, without compromising its appealing character.
The all-aluminium unit, which is one of
the lightest on the market, tipping the scales at just 67kg, has a
revised combustion chamber design that increases combustion efficiency
and raises the compression ratio from 10.5 to 11.0:1. It also gains
harder-wearing iridium-tipped spark plugs. Top line performance figures
of 67bhp (50kW) at 6,000rpm and 93Nm of torque at 3,600rpm are
unchanged. But with five-speed manual transmission CO2
emissions fall from 105 to a road tax-busting 99g/km* and combined cycle
fuel consumption improves from 61.3 to 65.7mpg*. For versions fitted
with Multimode, emissions are down from 106 to 104g/km* and fuel economy
rises from 61.4 to 63.8mpg*.
Saving money in tax and at the pumps
will be backed up by Aygo's established low insurance costs; the current
model occupies the lowest possible UK insurance groups, between 1E and
3E according to version.
Toyota has also taken measures to make
life on board quieter and more comfortable. Extra insulation has been
added under the bonnet and adjustments made to the clutch system to
reduce noise and vibration, and damping performance of the front and
rear shock absorbers has been tweaked for a smoother ride.
* Emissions and fuel consumption
figures remain provisional prior to official homologation.
Reviewed by Lucy from Portsmouth on 09
efficiency is brilliant. A full tank can last weeks for day to day use.
It's quick to pull away and can get in small spaces. Very ideal for city
use. I also drive to my family 2 hours away and have a comfortable drive
everytime. I love my Alan the Aygo.