Toyota’s have been around for a long time. In fact, they’ve been in the US since the 1950s! Because Toyota is such a well-known brand, and you might even drive a Toyota yourself, you might feel that you really know the famous car manufacturer. Or do you?
We’ve compiled 17 little-known facts and tidbits about Toyota and their best-selling hybrid, Prius. Take a look: How many of these did you already know?
17 Little-Known Facts About Toyota
Tight spot? No Problem! The first-generation Prius was designed to easily allow the driver to exit from the passenger-side door when parking in tight spaces. This was achieved by flattening the floor and the center console. The hinges on the front doors were even attached at a slant to enable them to open wider.
Prius takes emission reductions seriously! The second-generation Prius was the first car to comply with emissions regulations on three continents. Though the regulations were strict, the Prius went above-and-beyond requirements in the US, Europe, and Japan.
Think there’s no difference between a Prius sold in American and one sold in Europe? Think again! The second-generation European Prius was made with stiffer suspension and thicker anti-roll bars than the ones sold in the US.
Keep the AC running in hot weather, even with the engine off. The first electric air conditioning system that was no longer dependent upon the gas engine running was introduced with the Gen 2 Prius. Air conditioning in a Prius is now powered by the hybrid battery.
By the time the third-generation Prius was launched in 2010, Toyota was well ahead of the curve with over 1.7 million hybrid vehicles sold worldwide. More than 70% of those were Prius!
Long-range hybrid. Third-gen Priuses achieved a cruising range over 700 miles. This is almost 100 miles more than the Gen 2 Prius even though the size of the fuel tank remained the same.
Environmentally friendly plastic? The third-generation Prius was the first model to use Toyota-designed “ecological plastics” within the interior trim. These are plastics that were injection-molded and derived from plants.
Hot day and no parking available in the shade? With the Gen 3 Prius the remote operated AC can start to cool the car down before you get back to your vehicle.
Though all Prius generations reduced CO2 emissions, the fourth-generation Prius really stepped it up a notch by improving fuel economy and emissions by over 20%.
A smart car before Smart cars. In the fourth generation Prius, the AC system adjusts itself according to several different factors: outside temperature, how much sun is out, how many people are in the car. The AC recognizes when a seat is empty and minimizes the cool air to that part of the car. How’s that for smart?
Toyota introduced the Prius almost 20 years ago and it’s still the best-selling hybrid vehicle. Toyota is moving their North American headquarters from Torrance, CA, to Plano, TX. The main reason wasn’t lower taxes and more relaxed regulations.
It was affordable housing options for employees.
Toyota originally began by creating automated looms in 1924. It was the profits from those looms that were used to invest in the production of automobiles in the 1930s.
Toyota as a company believes in philanthropic endeavors. To date they’ve donated almost $700 million dollars to nonprofits in America. They’ve also contributed over $15 million dollars to disaster relief in the US and over 40,000 children’s car seats to Buckle Up for Life. One thing you can say for sure about Toyota, they’re dedicated to R&D!
Toyota invests a million dollars an hour to research and development.
All-electric car, coming soon? Toyota recently announced that they’ve finally developed a lithium ion battery that will become standard in all Priuses. They’ve even admitted that they’re looking to develop an all-electric vehicle now that they’re satisfied with the lithium ion battery they’ve manufactured.
The greenest car manufacturer. Toyota is not only the leading manufacturer of hybrid vehicles, it’s also the first manufacturer to sell a hydrogen fuel-cell car commercially. Honda’s right behind them, though, with the Honda Clarity. Better watch those tail pipes!
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