Toyota Set to Release Prius Gas/Electric Hybrid Sedan in US

April 24, 2000 by Jeff Shepard

Toyota (New York, NY) will release its five-passenger Toyota Prius gas/electric hybrid sedan in the US this summer, with a price of $19,995. The car is the world's first mass-produced gasoline/electric hybrid vehicle; a breakthrough in the combination of an efficient, powerful, gasoline-fueled, internal combustion engine.

Prius' primary power is provided by an all-aluminum, 1.5-liter gasoline engine. The US spec trim engine reaches 70HP at 4,500rpm, with peak torque of 82lbs/ft at 4,200. In addition, the engine is equipped with variable valve timing, helping maximize efficiency across the full rpm range and minimize emissions.

The US spec Prius will also feature a lighter battery pack, with 20-percent increased power to 34HP. It will also provide an approximate fuel economy rating of 50mpg and will carry SULEV emissions certification.

A pre-order program will be posted on Toyota's website in June.