May. 27, 2004

Prius Hybrid System Wins International Engine of the Year 2004

Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive Powertrain Gains 4 Different Awards


Tokyo―TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced today that the hybrid system used in the new Toyota Prius has had outstanding success in this year’s International Engine of the Year Awards, winning the overall “International Engine of the Year 2004” title, as well as three different categories.

By taking home the top prize, as well winning “Best New Engine”, “Best Fuel Economy” and “Best Engine 1.4-liter to 1.8-liter”, the Prius’ hybrid system scooped more trophies in one year than any other powerplant in the history of these awards.

The Prius’ hybrid system―the first to be developed under Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive philosophy, which is based on a homogeneous balance between environmental performance and driving pleasure―first scored a victory in its engine size category. Then, the Prius’ outstanding fuel consumption (4.3 liters per 100 kilometers combined in the EC mode; 35.5 kilometers per liter in the Japanese 10-15 test cycle) ensured a secure first place in the “Best Fuel Economy” category. In addition, the Prius unit was considered the best engine available in the market over the past 12 months (June 2003 until May 2004).

Among it and eight other category winners, the Prius’ hybrid system was chosen for the main award―the International Engine of the Year 2004―beating second place by a large margin with the highest score ever in the competition: 380 points.

The main award was handed today to Dr. Takehisa Yaegashi, senior general manager of Toyota Motor Corporation’s Powertrain Development Group, at Engine Expo 2004 in Stuttgart, Germany.

“These important awards are yet another recognition of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive technology. They represent to us a huge encouragement to proceed with the development of even more efficient and eco-friendly powertrains,” said Dr. Yaegashi.

About the awards

The International Engine of the Year awards have been held since 1999 and their aim is to recognize the best engines available on the market anywhere in the world. Every engine in mass production installed in a production car on sale in more than one country as of May 26, 2004 was eligible for this year’s voting.

The jury is composed of a panel of 56 renowned journalists from 24 countries around the globe, covering five different continents.

Besides the International Engine of the Year Award, 11 other categories were created to specifically distinguish engines by size, fuel economy and performance. In addition, the best engine launched in the current year is also recognized.

The New Toyota Prius so far

After being introduced firstly in Japan and then in the United States both in the fall of 2003, the new Prius is now becoming available in other markets around the world. In the first four months of 2004, Toyota sold more than 37,000 Prius worldwide.

Since its launch, the new Prius has already captured several other important awards:

2004 North American Car of the Year (U.S. and Canada)
Motor Trend 2004 Car of the Year (U.S.)
Best-engineered Vehicle 2004, from the Society of Automotive Engineers’ Automotive Engineering International (U.S.)
Family Car of the Year 2004, from Top Gear (U.K.)
Best Car Gasoline Category, ADEME CO2 index (France)
Eco Car of the Year, from Fleet Excellence Awards (U.K.)
Winner of the 2004 ADAC EcoTest, lowest emissions (Germany)
Number 1 in the ÖKO-TREND Auto-Umwelt-Rankings (German environmental index)
Most Eco-friendly Car, EcoMobiListe (Switzerland)