Two ecologists from Toyota: hydrogen Mirai and hybrid Prius

In the US, buyers of such machines are given cash subsidies – up to 7 thousand dollars. Being environmentally friendly is prestigious, profitable?

In the US, buyers of such machines are given cash grants – from three to seven thousand dollars. Being environmentally friendly is prestigious, profitable and convenient? And what about the pleasure of driving? We try to answer these questions by testing two eco-models Toyota – the fourth-generation Prius hybrid and the Mirai sedan on fuel cells.

And he lost weight

  • I wanted to spit on these hybrids at the current jitters prices! I’ll still ride my Lincoln!

Impregnated with a sincere cynicism of the phrase of the driver of a small family transport company that met me at the airport in Los Angeles several months ago, I remembered here on a training ground in the vicinity of Tokyo. At that moment, when in my palm was the key to the hybrid Prius. The next, the fourth is already a generation. He looked at Japanese engineers and marketers with smiling faces fixed on their faces, reflecting on how they were going to sell their new creation. For example, this is the guy from the most environmentally friendly American state that so adores his ancient Lincoln Town Car at a cost of about 20 liters per hundred. After all, if you manage to convince those like him, the new hybrid will become a bestseller even in the era of cheap oil.

Yes, now the Prius is even more economical than before. The declared average fuel consumption is only two and a half liters per hundred. Even if the real one grows to four, it’s still an excellent result. But a guy from California, while gasoline is cheap, does not want to load his head with cares about ecology and economy, he also has comfort to serve. And in the past “Prius” and behind the wheel was a bit crowded, and behind the high passenger and did nothing at all.

Has the car built on the modular TNGA platform become more comfortable? If your height is above average, then the positive changes are felt right away, as soon as you sit behind the wheel or on the second row. The first impression: and in the shoulders is freer, and there are more places above the head, and you do not have to press your legs. It seems that the effect of the increase in space is achieved not only due to the increased body dimensions and reduced dimensions of the main units and assemblies, but also thanks to the seats set lower than before.

The car is now quite suitable for a taxi. It’s the taxi drivers who use cars around the clock, more than other traffic participants pollute the air. A Prius fourth generation and money will save, and harmful emissions will help dramatically reduce. Yes, and passengers for comfort already have a sin to complain.

Today I was allowed to drive only a couple of laps on the track. All as before – silent start and smooth acceleration on electric traction. Then the petrol motor is connected. Only count on a fast overclocking is not necessary. Although the Prius and lost weight decently – a hundred kilograms, weight loss did not affect the dynamics. After all, the engineers of the company kept the balance, reducing the power of the power plant from 136 to 122 horses.

“Follow me,” warns the instructor on the walkie-talkie, heading the motorcade of several hybrids. “And do not you dare change the trajectory!” I pretend that I did not understand the far from perfect English of the Japanese overseer. I have my own trajectory! Sharp driving in steep bends. Similar freaks on the former Prius threatened to lose control of the car. But now you can allow yourself more – the reaction to provocation is absolutely calm, only light slips and minimal heels. The point here, by the way, is not only in the noticeably increased stiffness of the body due to new tough steel grades and laser welding. In the rear suspension instead of the beam now mnogorychazhka. The steering system was also reconfigured, making it more responsive.

Fuel consumption in a more or less active style of movement, of course, is far from the declared – more than five liters. Trying to weave a circle around the track, meeting the record low standard?

– Get out! It’s time to change the car!

It seems that the Japanese have read my thoughts. Well, it remains to wait for a long test to check how much the Prius is green …

Let’s go without dirt!

The Mirai Hydrogen Sedan is the next dish of my eco-tasting. A car with zero exhaust (from the pipe in the rear bumper comes out steam) though launched into the series, but it still looks like some kind of alien from the future. And the exterior is futuristic, and inside the designers allowed to frolic: the front panel is executed in a very very avant-garde manner. The almost evocative combination of high-tech and minimalism.

But with ergonomics is not all right – it is not possible to get comfortable in a driver’s place. The chair is set too high, and the steering adjustment is less than in conventional cars. So what’s the deal? I address this issue to the engineers. Smiling nervously, they point with a gesture under the armchair – it was there that they hid the block with the fuel cells. So I got a pedestal for the seat. But was it not possible in that case to remodel the steering column? My question puts the interlocutors at a dead end. It turns out that for the sake of economy they took a standard knot from Prius … But on the second row it’s not so close – as in a usual mid-sized sedan.

In motion, the Mirai is perceived as a classic electric car. Although he is in fact them and is. After a chemical reaction, hydrogen in fuel cells interacts with oxygen. As a result, water vapor is formed and electricity is generated, which then goes to a 154-horsepower electric motor. Ask: why then hydrogen? There are several answers in favor of gas. The main one is fast refueling, which does not take more than five minutes. Only hydrogen gas stations are still a bit even in the most environmentally concerned countries. For example, in Japan there are only 80 of them now. It remains to believe the promises: in five years, such refueling will become quite common in the country of the rising sun, and in California.

I have the same program – two laps on the track. I try to speed up quickly as from a place, so on the move. You always get smooth and smooth acceleration. Power mode does not change the character of Mirai much: it does not want to become an absolutely evil hydrogen car. Acceleration to a hundred – just under ten seconds.

But noise insulation, by the way, is not bad. And at some moments here, at the training ground, there is an illusion of isolation from the outside world: as if you do not move around in space, and space spins around. But this is a polygon … On ordinary roads, such silence in the cabin, of course, will no longer be.

By the way, about the money. For Mirai dealers ask for $ 60,000. Three times more than for a similar in size car with a conventional gasoline engine. Here, even a subsidy of $ 7,000 is not capable of awakening the desire to buy such a miracle of technology. Here you need to think ahead of time. Or very much to love nature?

Brief specification
Toyota Prius

Overall dimensions, cm 454,0х176,0х147,0
Wheelbase, cm 270,0`
The equipped weight, kg 1.280
Power of the power plant 122 hp
Drive type front
Average fuel consumption, l 2.5

Brief specification
Toyota Mirai

Overall dimensions, cm 489,0х181,5х153,5
Wheelbase, cm 278,0
The equipped weight, kg 1.850
Electric motor power 154 hp
The twisting moment of 335 Nanometers
Drive type front
Maximum speed, km / h 170
Acceleration from 0-100 km / h, from 9.6
Power reserve, km 550