LeftieBiker wrote:Looks like the AWD version will be non-plug-in and return to having a NiMH pack. Interesting. We haven't had any trouble with our Lithium pack in frigid weather.
. . . But the system isn’t nearly as capable as the one you might encounter in Toyota’s utility vehicles, such as the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid or Highlander Hybrid, because its all-wheel drive system was conceived for getting out of snowy driveways, not necessarily for hauling the family up the mountain for a ski weekend.
The layout of the system—which adds a tiny 7-hp (5.3-kw) electric motor that can deliver 41 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels—and the rationale behind it is mostly carried over from the Prius E-four, a model that has been sold in Japan for many years.
As Prius chief engineer Shoichi Kaneko explained to us last week at the LA Auto Show, it snows a lot in Japan. For snowy roads, front-wheel-drive vehicles have the hardest time with launch on an incline. So the first priority was to support a confident launch in stop-and-go traffic, uphill, on slippery roads.. . . .
Maintaining that 50-mpg mileage was a priority. Kaneko underscored that if you make it more of a full-time system, the amount of energy consumption increases. After going through some thorough optimization tests, Toyota found that the Prius got the best all-around efficiency by going with a lightweight, magnet-less (wound) motor—claimed to be a Toyota first—and skipping regeneration from the back wheels entirely.
The benefits of having a true “coast mode” for the rear motor when it wasn’t being used outweighed any brake-regeneration gains that might have potentially been made with a rear permanent-magnet motor, Kaneko said. . . .
Toyota has no plans to offer the AWD-e system on the Prius Prime, said Kaneko. Although when asked about the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, which uses Toyota’s hybrid transmission, fitted to a fully capable, even off-road capable all-wheel-drive system, Kaneko said that it reflects Subaru’s development priorities—and some efficiency decisions Toyota wouldn’t have mad.
But with Toyota continuing its work on electric vehicles, it’s likely that the automaker soon will find a way to show that full-time all-wheel drive and top efficiency aren’t mutually exclusive.
SageBrush wrote:I thought about paying for AWD for my Tesla but I eventually realized that it was not a substitute for winter tyres; and with winter tyres it was a waste of money.
SageBrush wrote:I think you have your "R"s backwards; but more to the point you are mixing up regulatory compliance with actual safety.