Toyota’s larger Prius V goes on sale in Japan

May 17th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Despite severe production and supply issues after the Japanese earthquake/tsunami disaster Toyota has just put its Prius V on sale in its domestic market.

The second model in Toyota’s growing Prius range will be sold in Japan as the Prius Alpha. The new Prius V is based on the current third-generation Prius but is a larger vehicle and will be sold with seven- and five-seating capacities. It also features a much more advanced lithium-ion battery pack. Even in five-seater form, the Prius V offers an impressive 60 percent more luggage capacity than the standard Prius. It also is longer and higher which means extra head and legroom for passengers.

Mechanically the Prius V differs little from the standard model using the same 1.8 litre Atkinson-cycle petrol engine matched with an electric motor. Power output for the petrol engine is rated at 73kW and 142Nm, with the electric motor chipping in another 60kW and 207Nm of torque. Continue reading “Toyota’s larger Prius V goes on sale in Japan” »

Chevrolet Camaro shifting from Commodore platform

February 8th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro has only been around for less than a year but according to fresh reports, GM is already considering its replacement. The current model is based on GM’s Zeta rear-wheel drive platform that was developed by Holden, Australia. While the Zeta platform, also used in the Commodore is generally praised for its dynamics, it still isn’t perfect. The platform is heavy and many of the originally planned applications have not been developed, which has raised the per vehicle cost in the process.

Last year during its bankruptcy, GM showed off many of its upcoming vehicles to members of the media, including a new smaller Cadillac dubbed ATS. The ATS makes use of a new rear-wheel drive platform that has been referred to as Alpha. GM hadn’t officially named the ATS platform, but it did state that it would be shared with the next-generation CTS which will likely increase in size to better compete with the BMW 5 Series. Given the harsh economics of profitable car manufacturing and the volumes expected for both the Cadillacs and the Camaro, it makes sense that the Camaro would move over to the Alpha architecture. Especially because one of the goals for all three models will be reduced mass, necessary to meet new fuel economy standards and improve performance.

Hummer H3 Alpha overview

December 21st, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

King of the mountain: Hummer H3 Alpha overview

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