2012 Toyota Prius c Launched In Malaysia For RM97K, Becomes Cheapest Hybrid
The 2012 Toyota Prius c has been launched alongside the revised Toyota Prius, arriving in Malaysia for RM 97,000 OTR with insurance, becoming Malaysia's cheapest hybrid car by undercutting the RM 99,812 Honda Insight. The latest member to the Prius family, the Prius c is now the lowest barrier of entry for access to Toyota's proven Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) system. UMW Toyota Motor aims to sell 2500 units of the Prius c in 2012, and we think that is a conservative target with its hugely attractive price point.
A scaled-down version of the Toyota Prius, the Prius c, at 3995 mm long, 1695 mm wide and 1455 mm tall, is 485 mm shorter than the Prius, 25 mm narrower on either side, and 35 mm lower. Apart from its name, the Prius c could be passed off as any other five-door hatchback. Beneath that innocuous appearance lie advanced design features to reduce aerodynamic drag, including the car's triangular silhouette, trapezoidal radiator grille design, ‘aerocorners’ on the bumpers to enhance airflow, flush underbody, ‘pagoda’ roof, integrated rear spoiler and a number of aero-stabilizing fins.
The interior uses black as a basic colour, with the door trim, seat surfaces and instrument panel in lighter shades from light blue to grey, creating contrast. The compact dashboard with a thin and wide instrument panel, containing the Multi Information Display (MID), contributes to a sense of spaciousness, with the switches and gauges clustered in the middle for ease of access. The Touch Tracer control in the Prius is also adopted for the Prius c. Using the two circular control pads with touch-sensitive buttons, the driver can make adjustments to the audio system, air-conditioning, MID and trip meter from the steering wheel.
The 3.5-inch full-colour TFT screen displays an Energy Monitor to show energy flows in real-time, an ECO Score encouraging the driver to keep track of fuel efficiency, while fuel consumption records are also shown in a bar graph in 5-minute intervals. Elsewhere, cruise control, operated via a control stalk mounted on the steering wheel, and Smart Entry & Start System are standard equipment.
The Prius c can be specified in two audio systems: the standard package for the 2-DIN audio system has an AM/FM radio receiver, CD-player (MP3 and WMA compatible) as well as inputs for USB thumb drives and other portable music players, including the iPod. For the more advanced DVD-AVN optional package, there is a 6.1-inch colour touch-screen, radio, DVD player with the same compatibility as the CD-player, and Bluetooth connectivity. This package also includes a rear-view camera and navigation system covering Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.
The Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) system has been adapted to suit the smaller Prius c, with more compact and lighter components such as the engine, transaxle and battery, resulting in a hybrid setup that is 42 kg lighter than that in the Prius. The HSD integrates the operation of the engine, an electric motor powered by nickel-metal hydride batteries, an electronically-controlled continuously variable transmission (E-CVT), an advanced power control unit (inverter), a DC-DC converter, a step-up converter and a hybrid control computer.
While the Prius uses a 1.8-litre petrol engine with a total output of 136 HP, the engine in the Prius c is the 1.5-litre 1NZ-FXE that runs on an Atkinson Cycle, key to generating a combined output of 101 HP. The modest output should be given a boost by a relatively low weight of 1120 kg. Drivers are given three drive modes to choose from: Normal, ECO and EV, the last of which utilizes just the electric motor, achieving speeds of up to 45 km/h, accompanied by a noise-free experience.
A full suite of braking, traction and stability controls is on hand to prevent an accident. But if it does happen, up to seven airbags (front, driver's knee, side and curtain) will deploy to cushion the impact and help reduce injuries. The driver and front passenger seats get a whiplash-reducing design as well as a pre-tensioner and force-limiter function. ISOFIX points are provided for the mounting of child seats. Enjoy the 2012 Toyota Prius c launch event gallery below!