22 October 2009
TOYOTA PRIUS WINS JAPANESE CAR OF THE YEAR
The powerful Japan Automobile Manufacturer's Association (JAMA) has named Toyota's third-generation Prius winner of its 30th Japan Car of The Year Award.
Final judging occurred today at the opening of the 41st Tokyo International Motor Show.
It is the second time Prius has been named Japanese Car of the Year as the original Prius was capped with the award on debut in 1997-1998.
Third-generation petrol-electric Prius received 433 votes, defeating its nearest rival - another hybrid car - by a narrow 42 votes: one of the closest finishes on record.
Sixty one journalists and industry representatives voted in a live final tally at the media day for the Tokyo Show.
Third-generation Prius has been Japan`s best-selling car for the past five months, according to figures from the Japan Automobile Dealers Association (JADA).
It reached an all-time high of 31,758 sales in September, accounting for 10.8 per cent of all automobile sales in Japan for the month, JADA said.
New-generation Prius has been credited with reinventing the transition of passenger cars from conventional power to hybrid delivery.
The new vehicle was launched in Australia in the middle of 2009.
It features a 21 per cent increase in power, but an 11.3 per cent decrease in fuel use, to just 3.9-litres per 100km*.
Combined power from its 1.8-litre petrol engine and electric motor is 100kW.
Significantly, Prius emits just 89g per kilometre of CO2* - the lowest emissions of any vehicle in Australia.
Toyota has now delivered more than 1.3 million Prius globally and 13,000 in Australia.
"The acknowledgement of third-generation Prius by Japanese COTY is endorsement of the shift to hybrid," said Dave Buttner, senior executive director Toyota Australia.
"Toyota has led the development of hybrid and its exhibit at this year's Tokyo Show is clear indication of future commitment.
"Prius has been Japan's best-selling vehicle domestically this year, based on customer realisation of the compelling need to save fuel and contribute to environmentally well being."
Toyota displayed at the Tokyo Show a range of hybrid and electric vehicles including a plug-in version of Prius and an all-electric concept city car.
It also released in Japan this week a larger size hybrid petrol-electric car - named Sai - intended to supplement Prius in the Japanese domestic market.
Toyota Australia will next year launch Hybrid Camry.
*Fuel consumption and emissions will vary depending on driving conditions/style, vehicle conditions and options/accessories. Source of fuel consumption data: ADR 81/02 combined cycle.
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Japan's Automobile Manufacturer's Association has today named Toyota's Prius the winner of its 30th Japan Car of The Year Award.