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Hey, not knowing anything in particular about car audio, I have a few questions I was wondering if anyone could answer. I would like to upgrade the speakers in my prius in order to get better sound out of the stereo. Now, I would like to get a set of nice 4-way speakers to put into my car, but I've noticed that most of these types of speakers require more wattage than the factory stereo can pump out (I have the non-premium version of the stereo) which, I think, is 40 watts max per channel. Now, I don't want to swap the factory audio deck (I think car guys call these a "head unit?") in order to get more power to the speakers, because I don't want to lose the touchscreen control and other nifty features of the factory stereo. I'm wondering if it's possible to put an amplifier along the lines between the deck and the speakers themselves to bump up the wattage. Is this how amps usually work, or is an amp something that usuallt plugs directly into the stereo? Also, if one were to have an amplifier put into a prius, what would be a safe wattage range for that amp to draw? I'm sure one wouldn't want to go too terribly high, but how high is too much? Also, would adding amplifiers and higher-wattage stereo affect the engine or batteries in any way? Would using such a system be likely to affect mileage?

Sorry for the barrage of questions, and my lack of basic knowledge on the subject, but perhaps someone could help me out here?
 
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