At a well-attended press meet, held at the Al Bustan Palace – a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, the all-new 2016 Toyota Prius was launched in Oman.
In his keynote address, Mr. Yugo Miyamoto, General Manager, Toyota Motor Corporation, spoke about Toyota’s passion for making ‘ever better cars’ that deliver the highest levels of customer satisfaction. He said, “Toyota never stands still. Last year, we launched a new Camry, Hilux and Land Cruiser. We are starting this year making history for Toyota in the Middle East with the launch of our first hybrid here the new, fourth generation Prius. In so many ways this Prius is the future of Toyota and also of motoring. But it builds on tradition. It offers true Toyota QDR the highest level of quality, durability, reliability Toyota safety and emotional styling. It is the perfect expression of our philosophy of creating “ever better cars”. We want to be number one in customer satisfaction.”
Sharing his thoughts on the Toyota Prius and its unparalleled success across the globe, he said, “As a fourth generation vehicle, this Prius offers fully developed technology refined over 18 years. This vehicle will never let you down after all, it’s a Toyota. More than 3.5 million satisfied Prius customers in some 80 countries around the world can’t be wrong. Governments and people everywhere are making commitments to fighting climate change and saving the environment. We see that trend here in the Middle East too. So, as the leader in advanced automotive technology, we want to do our part. The Prius is proof. Offering superb performance smooth, quiet, seamlessly powerful, the Prius is a step forward and also a step up. It’s environmentally friendly, good for the planet and also good for customers among other things saving money. It welcomes you to a new kind of driving experience in fact to a whole new world of driving pleasure.”
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Masayuki Sugiura, Assistant Chief Engineer of the All-New Prius shared his interesting journey on the development of the Prius and what makes this hybrid so special. He said, “The Toyota Prius was the first mass produced hybrid. That’s why we call it “Prius” from the Latin “prior” or “coming before”. It was the forerunner of all others. And since its introduction 18 years ago it has always been first. Each generation has yielded new breakthroughs. This new fourth generation Prius is no exception, it is simply the best. Not just the best Prius. The best hybrid ever. Its electric motor and gasoline engine are engineered to complement each other for not only better fuel economy but better performance. There are no compromises. We were passionate in our development. It was a labour of love so our goal was a “Beautiful Hybrid” a car that would appeal to people on an emotional level. One aspect of beauty is looks. Our Prius looks good outside from every angle. It’s aerodynamic and stylish. Inside, it’s comfortable and classy. It makes the owner proud. But, there is beauty in its performance, as well. The Prius is fun to drive, smooth, quiet, and responsive, with seamless, powerful torque. Fuel efficiency, however, is another aspect of performance. With the Prius there are fewer pit stops at the gas station. Yes, it’s a new world of driving. This beautiful hybrid is in the fast lane to the future.”
Based on the advanced Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) – an innovative, integrated development program for powertrain components and vehicle platforms – the all-new Prius takes the hybrid driving experience to another level, thanks to a lower centre of gravity, increased body rigidity and improved suspension. Combining a gasoline engine and an electric motor, this vehicle benefits from the best of both features. The hybrid battery is made more compact to hide under the rear seat, and is continuously charged when braking and decelerating—so you don’t need to plug in a power cord as you would with electric-only vehicles. The 1.8-liter VVT-i equipped Atkinson cycle petrol engine has better performance to achieve an impressive fuel efficiency of up to 26.1 km/L.
The Prius’ signature triangular silhouette begins with the Toyota emblem, continues along the lower hood and sweeps over the top of the cabin towards the rear wing. The rocker panel features a distinctive light-catching surface that begins at the lowest part of the front bumper and under the door, and then races upward to accentuate the car’s low-slung stance. LED headlamps with auto leveling are fitted, which use a single lens for both high and low beam operation. They have a striking appearance that adds character and emphasis to the front of the car. At the rear, distinctive character lines and a coordinated LED lamp design add to the car’s emotional appeal and distinctive hybrid presence. The overall impression is a firm, planted stance achieved with an upper beltline and prominent rear spoiler that connect with corner edges for more efficient aerodynamics. Staying true to the core concepts of the Prius, Toyota has produced an occupant-friendly interior that focuses on ease of use, with a design that aims to evoke the car’s advanced capabilities while remaining warm and welcoming. The instrument panel has a slim, sculpted form, with optimum positioning of the gauges, displays and controls. White accents on the steering wheel and front console tray add to the impact and advanced quality of the design. The high-strength Prius cabin is enhanced for occupant protection in a collision, with a full array of 7 SRS airbags. The Prius also features a Blind Spot Monitor (BSM), developed to warn the driver if there is a vehicle on either side when making a lane change and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) while reversing.
The introduction of the Prius has enabled fans to experience the future now. The all new Prius features include colour head-up display, wireless charger (Qi enabled), premium leather seats and 7″ Navigation System with 10 JBL Speakers (Green EdgeTM), 4.2″ full-coloured TFTs for MID and Main Display, CVT with Shift-by-Wire Technology, Drive Modes (Normal / Power / Eco) and electric vehicle mode amongst others.
Earlier in the day, the SBG representative said, “Toyota has been a key player in Oman and enjoys a strong market position in each and every segment for the past 4 decades. During this period, Saud Bahwan Automotive (SBA) has invested extensively in Infrastructure, Manpower, Customer Satisfaction and more. We take this opportunity to sincerely thank our customers for their loyalty and seek their continued patronage and also express our gratitude to Toyota Motor Corporation for their constant support, guidance and encouragement. We are confident that the 4th generation Prius will open up a whole new segment and be seen as a revolutionary product. We are very excited to bring the Prius Hybrid to Oman for the first time and surpass customer expectations.”
During the event, journalists went around viewing the vehicles on display and getting a first-hand experience of what makes these vehicles so special.
The all new Toyota Prius is now on display at the Toyota showrooms at Wattayah and Seeb.