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It’s no easy feat, making a Prius seem exiting. The latest news from Toyota will however go a long way to remedying that.
According to Autonews, the Japanese manufacturer has already been testing components for the next generation Prius in its TS040 Hybrid Le Mans racer.
â€œOur components already have parts from the next-generation Priusâ€, president of Toyota Motorsport GmbH Yoshiaki Kinoshita told the motoring news site in a telephonic interview.
While he was unwilling to go into details about exactly what components from the racer will go into the new Prius, although what he did reveal suggests that things aren’t quite as exciting as they seem on the surface.
According to Kinoshita, the components are microchips and controllers, rather than mechanical parts. The main goal of the technology is to reduce fuel consumption, something that’s as important in endurance racing as it is for the future of hybrid vehicles like the Prius.
The Toyota racing chief also revealed that one component unlikely to make its way into the next generation Prius is the TS040’s electric power storage system. That’s largely down to the fact that it uses supercapacitors for energy storage in braking, as well as its subsequent release.
If all goes well, one technology that could appear in the Prius in a few generations’ time is the silicon carbide semiconductor that it reckons could improve fuel efficiency by 10%. That technology will be commercialised in six years’ time.