omn1potent

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  1. Quote "There will be no road congestion tax, no change to the GST, no change to capital gains, negative gearing or share taxation and no changes to petrol taxes." Bonus - NO ETS! Now this government is starting to understand, and to WAKE UP! ....and the public. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/henry-review-brings-boost-for-superannuation/story-e6frf7jo-1225861022539
  2. Henry tax review tipped to include plan for drivers to pay by kilometre http://www.heraldsun.com.au/money/money-matters/henry-tax-review-tipped-to-include-plan-for-drivers-to-pay-by-kilometre/story-fn312ws8-1225860719998 http://www.infrastructure.org.au/DisplayFile.aspx?FileID=372 ......... hmmmmmmm now they can track us via GPS, and one would assume, how fast you are traveling, hey presto, ADHOC self infringement notice for speeding. Excellent revenue maker. ......... hmmmmmmm now they can track us via GPS, and monitor what ever you do or go via a motorised vehicle, big brother, or just another form of control from the government. ......... hmmmmmmm why don't they just "fix the roads" and "public transport", oh oh that whats this new tax is for, then what is the fuel excise paying? Wasn't that the original terms of reference? ......... hmmmmmmm no thanks to this TAX.
  3. Unveiled: Corolla Hybrid. STEVE COLQUHOUN March 2, 2010 More frugal than a Prius, but will Toyota Australia import it? If Toyota's celebrated Prius hybrid is the car that opened the world's eyes to petrol-electric motoring, then the Auris version of the same technology unveiled this week is the one that's likely to be bought in bigger numbers. The compact Auris - or Corolla, as it's known in Australia and New Zealand - follows its big brother, the Camry, in receiving radical heart surgery to install Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive. It combines a conventional petrol-driven engine with an electric motor that enables the car to run on either, or both. Toyota says it will deliver consumption of 3.2 litres per 100km and emissions of just 89 grams per kilometres of C02. In EV (electric vehicle) mode it can drive up to two kilometres at speeds of up to 50km/h, producing no emissions. However, Toyota Australia says the Auris/Corolla is "not currently on our list", despite its own determination to roll out a hybrid version of every model in its range by 2020. If it does arrive here - it goes on sale in Britain in July - it would pip the diesel-powered Ford Fiesta Econetic (3.7L/100km) as the nation's cleanest and most fuel-efficient car. The 1.8-litre petrol engine produces 72kW of power and 142Nm of torque, while the electric motor develops 60kW. Significantly, the electric motor's maximum torque of 207Nm is available from zero all the way up to 13,000rpm, endowing it with instant responsiveness. The two motors combine to produce around 100kW, which Toyota says will match the performance of most 2.0-litre petrol or diesel hatchbacks while significantly undercutting their fuel consumption and emissions. The Auris hybrid will not only pick up 2010 styling updates, it will also include aerodynamic aids including revised upper and lower front grilles to improve airflow over the body and improve engine cooling, a reduced ride height, low-drag alloy wheels fitted with low rolling resistance tyres and a roof-mounted rear spoiler. It follows the lead of the Prius and the Hybrid Camry in replacing the tachometer with an information panel providing instant feedback on how the Hybrid Synergy Drive is powering the car. There is also a "smart start" button on the side of the instrument cluster, while switches on the centre console allow the driver to choose from EV, Eco or Power modes.
  4. I replaced mine with: CENTURY 53 CCA 330 RC 50 3 Years Warranty. Cheers.
  5. Melb Quick Catch Up, the return on Kcorro! Saturday 11 April 2009 at Garage Cafe at 2:00pm. Garage Cafe 221 Berkeley Street Carlton http://www.garagecafe.com.au/
  6. Welcome back to Australia Kcorro! So when is the big catch-up / meet happening?
  7. Wow, you're still around Lucio! How are ya man? Lucio, Legend, Danz Legen, and where have the red barons gone to?
  8. Plug-in cars no better for the environment. Barry Park, The Age, March 31, 2009. http://www.drive.com.au/Editorial/ArticleD...ArticleID=61878 A new study claims that electric cars plugged into coal-powered grids are no better for the environment than efficient petrol cars. By BARRY PARK. In some parts of Australia, particularly Victoria, you would be better off buying a hybrid or even a small-capacity petrol-engined car. Figures released by the University of South Australia reveal how much carbon dioxide an electric vehicle will produce for each kilometre travelled in each state or territory based on how the electricity is generated. In Victoria, where 85 per cent of electricity comes from power stations burning more highly polluting brown coal, the figures show an electric vehicle will produce the equivalent of about 130 grams of carbon dioxide a kilometre - about the same as small-engined petrol hatchback. But recharge the same electric car in Tasmania, where almost all the electricity is generated using more environmentally friendly hydroelectric power plants, and the equivalent carbon dioxide output falls to about 13 grams. This is far better than any car on our roads today - including petrol-electric hybrids - and lower even than the next wave of ultra-efficient vehicles slated for Australia. No mainstream car makers offer an all-electric vehicle for sale in Australia, although Mitsubishi last week announced that it would test a small five-seat hatchback - the iMiEV - before making a decision to sell the car here possibly by the end of the year. Senior research fellow at the university Peter Pudney said high levels of carbon dioxide from Australia's traditional methods of electricity generation highlighted the need for developing more renewable energy sources. Dr Pudney said motorists should be able to buy green electricity generated using renewable resources such as wind farms or solar stations.
  9. Toyota unveils Next-Generation Prius 12 January 2008 Toyota unveils Next-Generation Prius Toyota unveiled the third-generation Prius hybrid vehicle today (Australian time) at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. A benchmark for cars of the future, Prius has delivered superior fuel economy and ultra-low emissions to more than one million owners worldwide, including almost 12,000 in Australia. The third-generation 2010 Prius is expected to arrive on the Australian market early in the third quarter of 2009. It features even better fuel economy and stronger performance with styling that is sharper, sportier and more aerodynamic than its predecessors. New Prius will be quieter, roomier and equipped with advanced standard and available features such as steering-wheel touch controls that have read-outs on the instrument panel display, and a moon-roof with solar panels. The third-generation car will introduce several world and Toyota firsts, including best aerodynamic profile of any mass-produced vehicle in the world, with a coefficient of drag (Cd) of just 0.25. Enhanced performance will come from a 1.8-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine, which is larger and produces more power and torque than the existing 1.5-litre engine. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the larger engine actually helps improve fuel economy. By producing more torque, the new engine can run more efficiently on the highway - operating at lower rpm and using less fuel. Fuel economy has also been improved in cold-start conditions and at higher speeds. Toyota's testing indicates the new Prius will accelerate from standstill to 100km/h approximately one second faster than the current car. Despite the bigger engine and stronger performance, overseas figures indicate a fuel-economy gain of around nine per cent - a remarkable achievement. The patented Hybrid Synergy Drive system in the new Prius is 90 per cent newly developed and provides significant improvements. Unlike most other hybrid vehicles, Prius is a "full" hybrid. It can run on engine alone, battery alone, or a combination of both. It can also charge the batteries while the car is running. Toyota Australia's corporate manager product planning Peter Evans said the unveiling of the new Prius heralded an exciting 12 months for Toyota and its Hybrid Synergy Drive technology. "New-generation Prius will appeal to a wider group of owners by using even less fuel, while meeting customer expectations for better performance and projecting a style that is more mainstream while being unmistakably Prius," he said. "This is a car that will fulfil the varied demands of many customers - whether their priority is a car with ultra-low emissions, excellent city and highway performance or more space for their families and luggage," Mr Evans said. "New Prius delivers all of these requirements without compromise. "Of course, the benefits of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive technology will be available to even more Australian motorists early next year when we launch our locally manufactured hybrid Camry." New Prius in detail The first-generation Prius was launched in Japan in 1997 as the world's first mass-produced hybrid. The name Prius, "to go before" in Latin, became symbolic of a car that was launched even before environmental awareness had become a mainstream social issue. From the beginning, Toyota's full-hybrid system was developed in-house and has become a driving force behind advanced vehicle technology. In designing the new, third-generation Prius, Toyota engineers combined a careful refinement of existing systems with an aggressive measure of new technology necessary for the future of automobiles. Fuel Economy and Environmental Performance The new Prius will be built using processes that reduce pollution in every stage of vehicle life, from development, production and driving, through to disposal. The third-generation Prius extends its record of continuous improvement in fuel economy. Using a combination of technologies, fuel efficiency is expected to show an improvement of at least nine per cent compared with the current car's 4.4 litres/100km rating. The 1.8-litre Prius engine is the first Toyota powerplant that requires no belts under the hood for better fuel economy and less potential maintenance. Use of an electric water pump and a new exhaust heat recovery system also contribute to the engine's efficiency. A multi-information display panel that monitors fuel and energy consumption is standard. The panel provides feedback on efficiency using three different displays to help the driver acquire economical driving habits. New Prius will offer three alternative driving modes. EV Mode allows driving on battery power alone for up to2km, if conditions permit. Power Mode increases sensitivity to throttle input for a sportier feel, and Eco Mode helps drivers achieve their best fuel economy. Cutting-Edge Styling In designing the new Prius, aerodynamic performance was an important factor. The goal was to create a beautiful silhouette, while not compromising function. Designers preserved the dynamic triangle form of the current model while altering the overall profile, pillar position and angle. The front pillar, extended forward, helps refine the performance-focusing, shaped form. The overall height of the Prius is the same, but the roof profile is altered by moving the highest point of the roof 99mm to the rear. This emphasises the wedge shape and also allows for enhanced rear headroom and improved aerodynamics. Strong side character lines, rising from front to rear, define the glazed geometric shape. Viewed from the rear, wider rear treads provide a solid, firmly rooted stance. New Prius has the same wheelbase as the current generation. Overall length is slightly increased by 15mm, in part by moving the front cowl forward. World's Lowest Cd The new Prius received more wind-tunnel hours of testing than any other Toyota in history, resulting in the cleanest aerodynamic profile of any mass-produced vehicle in the world. By focusing on the shape of the body, underfloor, wheelhouse liner and the wheels, designers were able to reduce the coefficient of drag (Cd) to 0.25, compared with 0.26 for the current model. Airflow under the car was studied extensively. Engineers made changes to the shape of the fender liner, front surface of the underfloor and added a fin at the rear floor cover to increase linear stability as development progressed. Advanced Equipment for a New Era An available sliding glass moonroof is packaged with solar panels, located over the rear seating area, that power a new ventilation system. This solar-powered ventilation system uses an electrically powered air circulation fan that does not require engine assist. The system prevents the interior air temperature from rising while the vehicle is parked, making the cool-down time shorter when the driver returns to the vehicle, thus reducing the use of air-conditioning. A remote air-conditioning system is the first system in the world to function on battery-power alone and that can be remotely operated - so the driver can adjust the interior temperature for comfort before getting in the car. Reducing the vehicle's power consumption, available LED (light-emitting diode) lamps are used for low beams and also in the tail and stop lamps. Air-conditioning, a major energy drain, has been re-engineered to increase efficiency and cool-down performance. In addition, an exhaust heat recovery system reduces heat waste by warming engine coolant during cold start-up, for improved economy by allowing earlier petrol engine shutdown on overrun and in stop-start traffic. It also heats up the passenger cabin more efficiently. Enhanced Vehicle Performance The next-generation Prius is built on a new platform, which enables improved handling, stability, quieter operation and collision safety. Functional Interior Proving that small changes add up to big gains, the cargo area of the new Prius was expanded 10mm in length and 56mm in width by using a new and improved layout of the battery-cooling unit. Rear-seat legroom is enhanced by a new space-saving contoured front-seat design. Touch sensors on the steering-wheel switches are designed to reduce driver eye movement for better concentration on the road. When the driver touches the audio or info switch located on the steering wheel, a duplicate image is displayed on the instrument panel, directly in front of the driver. This system, called Touch Tracer, is the first system in the world to allow steering-wheel controls to read out on the instrument panel. The ECO indicator on the Multi-Informational Display (MID) provides driver feedback for lower fuel consumption. Safety Enhancements The new Prius was designed to comply with class top-level collision safety performance in each global region of sale, and to accommodate increasingly strict safety requirements in the future. Front and rear side-curtain airbags, driver and passenger-mounted side airbags and knee airbags are available, in addition to advanced driver and front-passenger Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbags. Active headrests are used in both front seats to reduce the possibility of whiplash in a collision. Other available safety features include Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), electronic traction control (TRAC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC). New Prius will offer Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, using advanced millimetre wave radar. The system also enables the Pre-Collision System, which retracts seatbelts and applies the brakes in certain conditions when a crash is unavoidable. New-generation Intelligent Parking Assist is available with simplified settings to guide the car into parking spaces. A rear-view camera, which provides a view of obstacles when reversing, is available with the voice-activated navigation system. The development of the Prius has required applications for more than 1,000 patents filed across the world, of which 292 are U.S. applications. 2010 Prius Preliminary Specifications (U.S. Model) Powertrain 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine with VVT-i Engine horsepower: 98hp (73kW) @ 5,200rpm Engine torque: 105 lb-ft (142Nm) @ 4,000rpm Electric motor: Permanent magnet synchronous motor Electric motor power output: 80 hp/153 lb-ft torque (60kW/207Nm) Hybrid system net horsepower: 134 hp (100kW) Emission rating: SULEV (with AT-PZEV) Electronically controlled continuously variable transmission Drive system: Front-wheel drive Hybrid battery pack: Nickel-metal hydride Dimensions (inches) Overall length: 175.6 (4460mm) Overall Width: 68.7 (1745mm) Overall Height: 58.3 (1480mm) Wheelbase: 106.3 (2700mm) Ground clearance: 5.5 (139.7mm) Co-efficient of Drag: 0.25 Wheels: 15-inch alloy wheels Tyre size: 195/65R15 Seating capacity: 5
  10. New Toyota Prius looks to the sun New Toyota Prius looks to the sun Jez Spinks, drive.com.au, January 13, 2009 Toyota's third generation Prius hybrid car gets a boost from solar power. The third generation Toyota Prius hybrid car uses a solar panel to improve fuel economy. The next generation of the world’s most popular hybrid car uses the power of the sun to improve fuel economy. Toyota has debuted its new petrol-electric Prius hybrid vehicle at the 2009 Detroit motor show. The third generation Toyota Prius's new features include a sunroof with solar panels that contribute to better fuel efficiency. The Prius is claimed to use just 3.9 litres of fuel per 100km, almost half that of an average small car. The solar-panelled sliding glass sunroof is optional on US-market Toyota Priuses but could become a standard feature on more expensive Prius variants when it goes on sale in Australia in July 2009. “You could almost call the new Prius a tri-brid,” says Toyota Australia’s product planning boss Peter Evans. “It uses a combination of petrol, electricity and solar energy.” The solar panels power a ventilation fan that reduces the temperature of the Prius’s cabin, incrementally improving the Prius’s fuel efficiency by reducing the workload of the electrically run air-conditioning system. Regardless of whether the solar roof is included, the third-generation Prius will use even less fuel and emit even less carbon dioxide (CO2) than before – despite the introduction of a bigger, 1.8-litre petrol engine that’s again mated to an electric motor using Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive. In revealing the new Prius at the Detroit show Toyota division group vice president and general manager Bob Carter says the Prius' petrol-electric drivetrain was 90 per cent new. "Prius is more than a hybrid, it’s a solution," says Carter. "No longer is it a second car or a passing fad. In many households, it has become the primary family car. "Since Prius was first introduced, the consumer demographic has shifted from an early adopter to a mainstream shopper. "The Prius has evolved to meet the changing needs of this growing and diverse customer base. Improvements to the new Prius, such as fuel economy, were the result of this real-world use and customer feedback." Carter says the original Prius had more than 300 patents on its hybrid technology, whereas this third generation model has 1000. Toyota Australia says the new Prius will better the outgoing model’s fuel economy of 4.5L/100km. The company is hoping the new Prius will break the 4.0L/100km fuel consumption barrier locally, with a 3.9L/100km figure that would equate to just 89 grams of CO2 per kilometre. Toyota’s Evans admits the Prius could have targeted even lower economy but that the company wanted to inject some sportiness into the car to broaden its showroom appeal. “The new Prius is nippy rather than fast,” he says. “but it is a second quicker than the current model, with an expected 0-100km/h time of about 9.9 seconds.” Styling of the new Prius is evolutionary, retaining the overall stretched hatch shape of the outgoing model. But the Prius has sharper headlights and a slicker overall look, with a steeply raked windscreen and coupe-like roofline. The design, however, also aids the Prius’s efficiency. Toyota claims the car’s aerodynamics – its resistance to drag through the air – set a new benchmark for a mass-production car. The Prius is expected to retain similar pricing to the outgoing model that starts at $37,400, despite Honda’s plans to introduce the rival, second-generation Insight hybrid below $30,000 towards the end of 2009. “The new Prius’s performance, economy, equipment and space will demonstrate why it is our flagship hybrid,” says Toyota’s Evans. “We’re quite comfortable with pricing that’s above the Insight’s predicted sub-$30K price tag. “The Prius is a full hybrid. It can run on electric power alone, petrol power alone, or a combination of both. We don’t believe they are comparable products.” The new Toyota Prius is a key model in the Japanese car maker’s plans to sell more than a million hybrid cars a year. More than 10 new Toyota/Lexus hybrids are scheduled to be rolled out by 2012. Toyota’s luxury arm, Lexus, yesterday unveiled the world’s first dedicated luxury hybrid car, the HS250h. Toyota has sold more than a million Priuses since the hybrid debuted in Japan in 1997, including nearly 12,000 sales in Australia. Toyota Australia believes that hybrid models will soon account for one in 10 Toyotas sold locally. Hybrid versions of the Corolla small car, RAV4 compact 4WD and Aurion large car are expected in the near future. A VAST ARRAY OF PICTURES AT http://www.drive.com.au/Editorial/ArticleD...p;GalleryType=1
  11. New 2010 Toyota Prius here in June 13 January 2009 Joshua Dowling in Detroit As most car makers are yet to release their first petrol-electric vehicle... ...Toyota has unveiled the third-generation Prius, more than a decade after the original model went on sale. The successor to the world’s biggest selling hybrid car – more than 1.1 million have been sold – was revealed at the Detroit motor show overnight ahead of its Australian debut in June. The Japanese maker has completely redesigned the Prius from the ground up. In an attempt to rid hybrid cars of their dowdy image, the new model has more performance, more technology and more styling pizzazz. Prius Three, as it is known in car-industry shorthand, has more power from both its petrol and electric motors and yet, the car uses less fuel and accelerates more quickly than its predecessor. In North American the Prius is claimed to have an average consumption of 50mpg, which should equate to about 4.0L/100km in Australia – a 10 per cent reduction compared with the old model. However, the final windscreen rating label figure in Australia could vary from this because of different Government test requirements in both countries. Technology highlights include solar panels in the sunroof designed to assist the car’s air-conditioning system, as well as radar cruise control and a pre-crash safety system that, until now, have in Toyota world been exclusive to Lexus. Pricing of the Prius in Australia is yet to be announced, but is expected to be similar to the current models which start at $37,000 and stretch to $47,000. However, the new Prius range is likely to expand from two to three models so there is no longer a $10,000 price gap. Toyota wants the new model to appeal more to private buyers. Currently, fleet customers account for three out of every four Prius sales. The aim is to have an even split between private and business customers. “While we already have a lot of demand from corporate customers for the new Prius, our main focus is on private buyers, especially in the initial stages while supply is relatively tight,” says Toyota Australia’s hybrid car expert, Vic Johnstone. The new Prius will continue to be made in Japan, as with the previous two models. But it was also going to be made in a second factory in North America – Toyota’s biggest market for the Prius – until the global credit crunch derailed those plans. The problem now is that Toyota is forecasting greater demand for the Prius worldwide given the expected rise in petrol prices, but production at the Japanese factory will only be increased by a modest amount. Had the Mississippi factory gone ahead, Prius production could have doubled. With only one Prius factory, initial supply of the new model will likely be restricted, and we could see a repeat of the six- to eight-month delays that affected the previous model when it was introduced five years ago. “We are doing everything we can to make sure the waiting list is not too long,” says Toyota Australia’s product planning boss, Peter Evans. “However, we won’t know until closer to the on-sale date what the demand for the new car is like around the world. If another country reduces their Prius order, then hopefully we can get more cars.” Standard equipment for the new model is yet to be finalised but it is expected all Prius models will come standard with front, side and head-protecting ‘curtain’ airbags (previously, only the dearest model has curtain airbags) and stability control, which can help prevent a skid in a corner. Other features, such as the solar panel sunroof, high intensity headlights, a digital heads-up display in the windscreen, radar cruise control and automatic parking technology (not to mention leather upholstery and a premium sound system) will likely be used to help distinguish models at three different price points. The new Prius slips more efficiently through the air than the previous model; Toyota claims it has the lowest co-efficient of drag (a figure of 0.25cd, for the tech heads) than any mass-production car. Creating less wind turbulence at freeway speeds helps reduce fuel consumption. This improvement is despite the fact that the new Prius is slightly longer and wider than before, and therefore has a much roomier interior and a bigger cargo space. To offset the weight of some of the new technology that has been added, the new Prius has a lightweight aluminium bonnet and tailgate. The new car has more than 1000 patents covering its innovations. Twenty years ago, it was considered extravagant when the first ever Lexus had 400 patents on it. As with the previous Prius there is still a petrol engine under the bonnet, and the car is refueled just like a normal car on regular unleaded. But a plug-in version which can be recharged overnight is due within the next three years. Somewhat bizarrely, the new Prius has a bigger petrol engine than its predecessor (up from a 1.5-litre four-cylinder to a 1.8, the same size as the engine in a Corolla) but it also has a bigger electric motor and a more efficient battery pack. The torque, or pulling power, at low revs has deliberately been reduced to make the Prius accelerate more smoothly off the line. But engineers have increased the amount of torque mid-way through the rev range to better suit real-world driving conditions. The result is a one second reduction in the claimed 0 to 100km/h acceleration time, from 10.9 seconds to 9.9, about as ‘quick’ as a Camry. More than 12,000 Prius hybrids have been sold in Australia since the original model went on sale in 2001, four years after it went on sale internationally. Around the world, among its fans the Prius has found favour with taxi drivers, with the tear-drop shaped hatchback used as a cab from New York to New South Wales – and even remote towns such as Cairns. Over the past few years, 32 Prius taxis have clocked up an average of 200,000km annually, with one recording the highest distance so far of 550,000km. That vehicle had its battery pack replaced at 500,000km, while another had its battery replaced at 350,000km. Toyota Australia says these are the only two battery packs it is aware of that have been replaced in eight years of local Prius sales. The company says about 85 per cent of the expired battery packs are recycled, and most of the process and components are handled locally. The 2009 Detroit Motor Show
  12. Toyota launches new prius in Detroit (January 2009). Toyota launches new Prius in Detroit (January 2009) words - Ken Gratton A third generation of Toyota's Prius succeeds the car that was the 'forerunner' of all hybrids -- if you ignore Honda's original Insight. Toyota released the original Prius sedan in Australia with the information that the name for the car was a Latin word meaning 'forerunner'. Presuming that calling the car by the English translation would have confused it with the HiLux-based 4Runner that had been discontinued not long before, the Latin name made sense in a way. Now that the company has released an altogether new model to replace the hatchback released in 2004, the translation of 'Prius' has changed from 'forerunner' to 'to go before', according to Toyota. We're working on the presumption that the context is 'to go before the oil runs out'. Whatever. The new car was unveiled this week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Once, a new hybrid model from Toyota would have been unusual if not exceptional, but at this show, it's neither. Not to show disrespect for the Prius, which has altered the purchasing decisions of a rather large sector of the car-buying public, but hybrids are increasingly common. All the (failing) Big Three manufacturers in America can sell you a hybrid vehicle of some kind -- provided you live in America. So perhaps that's one of the major tasks facing the new Prius... to retake the initiative from other companies following the lead of the one that 'goes before'. As the Carsales Network originally reported (more here), the new car gains a 1.8-litre engine in lieu of the 1.5-litre unit fitted previously. According to Toyota, the new engine provides more torque from lower engine speeds, allowing taller gearing and less fuel use at constant highway speeds. As a bonus, should the driver need more power and acceleration, the larger engine will deliver that too, with a second knocked off the time from standstill to 100km/h -- although it's still not blistering. Since the water pump for the engine cooling system is electrically-driven and the starter is also a generator/alternator, the four-cylinder petrol engine is free of drive belts for ancillaries. It runs an Atkinson cycle, which is like a modified Otto cycle with a longer power stroke before the exhaust valves open. By coupling it via an open differential -- acting as a continuously variable transmission (CVT) -- to an electric motor that also generates electrical charge when spun in the reverse direction, the petrol engine (Internal Combustion engine, or 'IC' for short) supplies its torque to the front wheels, and the computer-controlled electric motor can complement it when added performance is required. On the overrun (when the car is decelerating), the petrol engine continues to run in the same rotational direction, but forces the electric motor to run in the reverse direction, acting as a generator and replenishing the battery-based power storage. The Prius can also run -- for 2km -- on electric power alone, if the driver chooses. This system, which Toyota names Hybrid Synergy Drive Technology, works along the same principles as in the second generation Prius, but Toyota claims 90 per cent of the drive system is new in the third-generation vehicle and the driver can choose any of the three operating modes (petrol only, electric only, petrol and electric combined). The engine develops 73kW of power and 142Nm of torque. When added performance is required, the electric motor kicks in its 60kW and 207Nm of output. On those occasions the electric motor is operating as a generator, it recharges the Nickel-metal Hydride battery storage. At the launch of the new model in Detroit earlier today, Toyota Motor Sales (US) Group Vice President Bob Carter (pictured) took us through the ways the new model has been revised from the old. For a start, it's slightly larger all around. There's "less than one inch" difference in length and width between the old and the new, according to Carter, and the height and wheelbase are "approximately the same". The reason for the dimensions remaining close to those of the previous cars can be traced back to the need for aerodynamic efficiency. Toyota was starting from a high base in the second-generation car when it set about developing the third-gen model, but as we all know well, once you're locked into a drag-free shape, it's hard to deviate much from that without losing the aerodynamic virtues of the older car. "You can spot a Prius from a hundred yards away," says Carter. "The already sleek design has been further enhanced with a more dynamic exterior, underbody panels and sharp corner edges, as well as a larger spoiler. "Our designers moved back the peak of the roof almost four inches [99mm], which improves rear-passenger headroom." Carter puts the increase in spaciousness for the new car at "five cubic feet" (141 litres), which is impressive, given the aerodynamic constraints for the new design. And that's probably the most outstanding point about the new Prius; its aerodynamic coefficient of drag -- just 0.25Cd. Toyota claims that this makes the Prius the slipperiest production car in the world and off the top of our heads, we wouldn't argue the point. That achievement, along with the changes to the engine and drive system have resulted in an improvement in fuel consumption from the 46MPG of the old car to 50MPG (4.7L/100km) for the new model. Toyota Australia puts the new car's official fuel consumption, in accordance with ADR81/01, at 4.4L/100km in combined-cycle testing. When the Australian-delivered car goes on sale in July of this year, it will come with a multi-function information display panel, but not the lane-change facility or 'Safety Connect' option available to American buyers.