From Toyota press: The third-generation Prius, which was all-new for the 2010 model year, gains updated headlamps and tail lamps, plus a new front fascia and bumper for 2012. The Prius Two gains new 15-inch wheel covers for 2012 and standard LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL). The Prius Three adds a standard three-door Smart Key entry system, and the Prius Four features standard auto on/off headlamps. The Prius Four also provides enhanced comfort with new SofTex-trimmed seats and an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat.
There’s big news for the 2012 Prius in the audio/infotainment area, with new standard systems for Prius Two, Three and Four models. The Prius Two, features a new Display Audio touch-screen system with a 6.1-inch screen. The AM/FM CD player unit offers MP3/WMA playback capability with six speakers, a USB port for iPod® connectivity, auxiliary input jack, Bluetooth® hands-free phone capability and audio streaming. The display also provides vehicle information and allows the driver to customize vehicle settings.
For 2012, the Prius Four includes that system plus eight JBL® GreenEdge™ speakers and an eight-channel JBL amplifier. GreenEdge technology significantly reduces electric draw on the vehicle, which can help enhance fuel economy. When the Deluxe Solar Roof Package is ordered for the Prius Four, that system is further upgraded with a Head-up Display and Premium HDD Navigation System, which uses an exclusive seven-inch touch-screen with split-screen capability.
The Solar Roof Packages continue to offer the world’s first sliding glass moonroof packaged with solar panels, located over the rear seating area, that power a ventilation system. The solar powered ventilation system helps reduce the interior air temperature when parked directly in the sun. Cool-down time is shorter when the driver returns to the vehicle, thus reducing the use of air conditioning. The available remote air conditioning system was the first in the world to function on battery-power alone, and it allows remote operation so the driver can cool the interior temperature for comfort before getting into the car.
The top-of-line Prius Five model’s Advanced Technology Package for 2012 includes the Premium HDD Navigation System, plus the Head-up Display, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System and Lane Keep Assist. The Pre-Collision System retracts the front seatbelts and applies the brakes in certain conditions when it determines that a crash is unavoidable. Lane Keep Assist can help the driver stay within the lane.
A 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle, four-cylinder engine produces 98 horsepower at 5,200 rpm. Together with its electric motor, the hybrid system generates a combined 134 net horsepower. Due to the unique way that Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive combines the power of the gasoline engine and electric motor, the driver experiences a feeling of torque in the Prius that makes it feel even more powerful than the output numbers suggest.
The 2012 Prius offers four driving modes (“Normal,” “Power,” Eco” and “EV”). The EV Mode allows driving on battery power alone at low speeds for about a mile, if conditions permit. Power Mode increases sensitivity to throttle input for a sportier feel; Eco Mode helps drivers achieve the best mileage. A multi-information display panel that monitors fuel and energy consumption is standard. It provides feedback on the Prius’ efficiency using three different displays to help the driver adopt economical driving habits.
Viewed from the cockpit, the center cluster smoothly flows from the instrument panel to the console. Simple, fin-type air vents and judicious use of silver accents add a finished, technical feel. A space-saving contoured front-seat design maximizes rear seat legroom.
The available Touch Tracer Display features touch sensors on the steering wheel switches that are designed to reduce driver eye movement for better concentration on the road. When the driver touches the audio or trip switch located on the steering wheel, a duplicate image is displayed on the instrument panel, directly in front of the driver. Touch Tracer was the first display system in the world to allow steering wheel controls to display in the instrument panel.