Auris Hybrid press launch: we need you!


We were lucky enough to see the new Auris Hybrid for real at the Geneva motor show. Now, we’re going one better – we’re packing our bucket and spade (okay, camera and laptop) and heading off to the official press launch in Barcelona from 18-19 May.

Along with a handful of well-known motoring journalists, we’ll be driving Toyota’s first full hybrid hatchback for the very first time.  We won’t just be there for the test drive and tapas, though. We’ll have access to Toyota’s chief engineers and product managers, and we’ll be able to ask them your questions about the car and Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive technology… Submit your questions by commenting below and let us do the legwork for you!

Remember to check back next week, when you’ll find the answers to your questions right here on the blog.


Update 20/5/10: We have now published some of the answers to your questions. Click here for the first post of answers.
21/5/10: Part 2 can now be found here.


  1. In the publicity it states that the batteries will last the lifetime of the car.
    This is a bit like signing up for broadband which is subject to fair usage.

    So (1)What is the “lifetime of the car” (2) What is the manufacturers guarantee in years / miles (3) If the batteries have to be renewed out of the guarantee period what is the cost.



  2. wanna ask about my csar valeter work in yorkshire …
    Where the day begin tommorow ? greating from Poland

  3. We really don’t know the lifetime yet. 2nd generation Priuses haven’t had many battery replacements. I regularly see an ‘X’ plate Japanese import, original, Prius, as I drive to work. US owners are reporting replacements required at 120,000 – 180,000 miles, and about ten years of age.

    The Prius hybrid/battery warranty was reduced to 5 years, 80,000 miles for the new model, from 8 years, 100,000 miles on the previous model. In California a 10 year, 150,000 mile warranty is mandatory for Toyota to qualify for clean car credits.

    The list cost for a 2nd generation Prius battery in the US is currently $2,588.67, but one source discounts to $1,967.39. Many owners are sourcing batteries from breakers, where necessary – there are more crashed cars than demand for batteries.

    By the time it needs replacement, the new battery may cost more than the car is worth, so ‘lifetime of the car’ may be accurate.

  4. Servicing is primarily oil and filter changes and brake fluid changes. Coolants last quite a long time as does the transmission fluid in the transaxle (it’s not really a ‘gearbox’). No shifts means no wear. Electric power steering is maintenance-free. Oil and air filters are common to other Toyotas using the ZR family of engines. 0W20 oil is a little hard to get hold of but is available from other suppliers.

    I commute from Reading to Cookham (near Maidenhead) using a mixture of roads, primarily the A4. In my Gen 2 Prius I’m getting about 58mpg – the display is a little optimistic at 59.9. The EU standard test result is 65.7mpg for this car.

  5. All cars are tested to standard test parameters and driving cycle mandated by the EU. They are actually tested by the manufacturers but the results may be audited and manufacturers have been fined for submitting, shall we say, optimistic results. 74mpg – or more accurately, 3.8 litres per 100km, as the testing is done in metric, rounded to 0.1L, then converted to imperial for the British market – is the result of performing this testing.

    The test is quite weak, particularly compared to the US EPA tests, because the speeds are pretty slow and the acceleration isn’t hard. There is only a tiny burst of 75mph driving, most of the extra-urban test happens below 45mph. Also, it’s done in very warm conditions (20 to 30 degrees Celsius) on a perfect rolling road, though aerodynamic drag is accounted for, and air conditioning isn’t used – nor is heating.

    However, that’s the test we have, and to reduce the efforts of marketing weasels, the manufacturers are only *permitted* to advertise the results of this test.

    It very likely will not be possible to reproduce this with a test drive. Try to finish your drive with the same level of charge in the battery as when you started – this isn’t hard, the car tries very hard to keep the battery at about 75% and will burn extra fuel to get it there more quickly if you overuse electric drive.

    Your actual fuel economy over time depends on your driving style and the conditions you encounter. Mine is 56.5mpg over two years – 57.8 over the last year – in a 2nd-generation Prius, about 14% lower than stated. Your conditions might be more or less suited to the car than mine.

  6. Some of your questions are answered in the press release:

    The ‘luxury pack’ will be called a T Spirit. It contains:

    Leather and Alcantara upholstery
    Cruise control
    Dusk-sensing headlamps
    Rain-sensing windscreen wipers
    Smart Entry and Start
    Auto-dimming electrochromatic rear view mirror
    Rear view camera display in rear view mirror

    That also answers your second question. No mention of heated seats.

    The box intrusion in the boot is presumably a larger underfloor box. The high-voltage battery is very likely mounted directly behind the rear seats and therefore raises the floor level, and this box carries that raised floor level all the way to the sill. The box is present in all models of Prius and contains nothing at all except for a couple of tools. You can use it for extra storage.

    Multi-link rear suspension isn’t offered on any other Auris, or even on the Prius, and since that’s a key feature of the upcoming Lexus CT200h, I think it’s unlikely to be offered on the Auris HSD.

    The ‘B’ position is very effective at controlling speed on steep downhills. It’s similar to selecting 2nd on my old Focus.

    I’m not sure what you mean with your last question. There was a software change for braking to cover a dip in braking performance when switching from regen braking to friction braking if the front wheels lost traction then recovered it quickly. The events where people claimed unintended acceleration were found in one case to be application of the wrong pedal, and in the other was strongly believed to be fraud.

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