Toyota Motor Corp.\'s expanded Prius hybrid lineup is the top-selling vehicle line this year in California, the largest auto market in the U.S. It has overtaken Honda Accord and Civic, and Toyota Camry. Among light vehicles, the perennial U.S. sales leader is Ford Motor Co.\'s F-Series pickup. It is seconded by the Camry.
According to the California Auto Outlook report published by the California New Car Dealers Association, Toyota had sold 46,380 Prius models in California from January to September this year. Toyota is the top-seller of gasoline-electric autos. Last year, the Honda Civic was the best-selling car and light vehicle in California with retail registrations of 37,475 units. The Honda Accord followed with 36,619.
A total of 36,461 Toyota Camry were registered while 34,129 Priuses were noted too. Golden State’s purchases of Prius models made up about 25% of the 183,340 Prius liftbacks, plug-ins, v wagons and c subcompacts sold in the U.S.
Throughout the country, the Prius line is No. 8 among the best-selling U.S. cars this year. Considering the state’s size, the revival of the car and light-truck sales in California is boosting the industrywide sales across the U.S.
The report stated that registrations through September are higher by 26% in California, surpassing the 14.5% increase for U.S. light-vehicle sales. Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst for Kelley Blue Book in Irvine, Calif., said that gas prices are higher by 80 cents per gallon in California compared to the national average.
He said that this raises the attractiveness of hybrids and plug-in vehicles in California. The report stated that California drivers purchased 1.25 million new cars and trucks from January to September this year. This accounts for 11% of the total in the U.S. of 10.9 million. Researcher Autodata Corp. said that Ford\'s F-Series continues to be the top-selling vehicle in the U.S. this year. The Camry is ranked second.
Aerodynamic performance was one of the key attributes that Toyota considered during the car’s design process. While designers aimed to give the new Prius a beautiful silhouette, they were careful not to sacrifice function. To this effect, designers tweaked the car’s overall profile, pillar position and angle and extended its front pillar. In doing so, designers still retained the dynamic triangle form of the current Prius.
While the new Toyota remains as tall as the previous model, its roof profile is now different as the carmaker has moved the top section of the roof around 3.9 inches to the rear. This design tweak highlights the car’s wedge shape, increases the headroom on the rear compartment, and enhances the aerodynamic performance of the new Prius.
The front and rear corners of the new Prius feature a sharp yet aerodynamic design. These are complemented by strong side character lines that rise as it flows from the front to rear. Moreover, the new Prius has wider treads on the rear wheels. Although the new Prius is longer than its predecessor by 0.6 inch – partly made possible by moving the front cowl forward – its wheelbase measures the same as the current model.
New Toyota Prius is one of the most aerodynamic production cars in the world, considering that its coefficient of drag value is at 0.25 Cd, which is even lower than the 0.26 Cd of the previous model. This was achieved by making the new Prius spend more time in the wind tunnel than any Toyota vehicles, allowing the carmaker to give the vehicle a very clean aerodynamic profile. This was also achieved by taking greater detail of the car’s body and underfloor as well as of its wheelhouse liner and shape of the wheels.