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A May 02 Popular Science Hybrid article has the following zingers.
<http://www.popsci.com/popsci/auto/article/0,12543,220824,00.html>

1. Waxed behinds ban hybrids from FormulaOne
“Don Panoz's Le Mans racing team discovered that shoehorning a 195-horsepower electric motor and a 300-volt nickel-metal-hydride battery alongside the gasoline engine would give the team's car an edge….
Their plan was to use a car's alternator—the mini generator in every vehicle that keeps the battery charged—as an electric-assist motor that could contribute small boosts of power. This prompted the Formula One sanctioning body to ban the technology before it ever got to the track. "They had to," says John Wallace of Ford's electric-centric Think division. "Teams without it would have had their behinds waxed."”

2. Waxed behinds: Hybrid Viper—0-60 < 3sec
“an electric motor powers the front wheels, a gas engine the rear wheels. A Viper with this setup would get 10 percent better gas mileage and 20 percent more torque, says Larry Oswald, DaimlerChrysler's vice president of hybrid engineering. "That would take another second or two off its 0-to-60 time," he says. In other words, it'd get to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds.”

3. GM behinds ready for wax.
“"We plan to offer a hybrid feature to improve fuel economy, as long as it doesn't degrade performance," explains Richard Marsh, GM's program executive for hybrid trucks. "People buy trucks to use them as trucks," he adds. "There's not a lot of interest in trucks with small engines."”

Enjoy,
Nathan
 
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I saw the 0-60 in less than 3 seconds comment in the article when it came out and my first thought was. Oh great, another hazard in the hands of impatient drivers. Its bad enough with drivers racing down the roads and trying to push the cars ahead of them because they aren't going fast enough or not accellerating fast enough. In a few years these same drivers will be even more impatient.
 
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Ron,
From the day we are born we are told that anything enjoyable is bad and anything good must be unpleasant.

Steak bad.
Tofu good.
Beautiful blondes--dumber than fence posts.
Booze bad.
Marijuana worse.
Oral sex bad.
Real sex worse.
Hybrid cars--slow as molasses.
Electric vehicle--glaciers move faster.

So here we can change that perception (or one of them), and while I would never want to own a Prowler, as a red-blooded American male I sure as hell would love to take one for a spin.

And guess what. Considering that Ford has developed a hydraulic transmission and others have displayed capacitive energy storage, there may be a time when rocket starts and a small ice and great efficiency are not mutually exclusive in everyday use in mild hybrids. I would suggest that the inefficiencies in jack-rabbit starts are a nasty pecularity of the internal combustion engine and not of Newtonian origin.

Nathan
who is very glad that Toyota updated the original Japanese Prius for USA
 
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We should rename the Prius to Prowlius. Jack rabbit starts are good!

steve d.

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Im glad I am not the only person who noticed this potential, has anybody attempted to enhance the performane of a prius? The electric motor has a maximum output of 44 horsepower, and accounts for more than 25% of the total power, to the best of my knowledge that exceeds any other single modification.

Ken
 
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If you search the web, you can find people who've done some of the usual performance enhancements on the engine side, but the only thing I've heard of anyone doing on the electrical side was a battery company experimenting with adding additional batteries in parallel. Changing the electrical side is pretty challenging since the transmission won't really support much additional torque. Also, the computers would need reprogramming and it's not clear how to do that.

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The Xtra 44 HP is nice but I like the CVT and that TORQUE from a dead stop! I love to was Camry's, and Jaguars and big V-8 SUV's at Traffic lights!

Regards,
Don
 
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Ken, before you get into this, please make sure you understand fully how the car works. There are probably some surprises in store for you. Since the Prius has no gearbox, the output of MG2 (the big motor) is applied directly to the final drive so the car is effectively stuck in high gear. The huge available torque is therefore necessary to get the car moving without benefit of low gears and has mislead more than one person into thinking that the car could leap off the line if they could figure out the right modification. Also, bear in mind that some of the engine power is always directed through MG2, so total available power is never equal to the sum of the power ratings. The battery can only supply 20 kW or so. Any attempt to enhance performance will get stuck on the computer's tight control of the electrical system. You can't get any more power from the engine to the wheels without the cooperation of MG1 (the small motor/generator). You might like to browse my Web site when you have some free time.

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I thought the Prius had one electric motor/generator (and one normal alternator for the normal electric system including the starter). I also thought that both the IC engine and motor worked through a gearbox and I just assumed both engine and motor had various ratios available.
How do I get to your web site ?

Graham Davies said:
Ken, before you get into this, please make sure you understand fully how the car works. There are probably some surprises in store for you. Since the Prius has no gearbox, the output of MG2 (the big motor) is applied directly to the final drive so the car is effectively stuck in high gear. The huge available torque is therefore necessary to get the car moving without benefit of low gears and has mislead more than one person into thinking that the car could leap off the line if they could figure out the right modification. Also, bear in mind that some of the engine power is always directed through MG2, so total available power is never equal to the sum of the power ratings. The battery can only supply 20 kW or so. Any attempt to enhance performance will get stuck on the computer's tight control of the electrical system. You can't get any more power from the engine to the wheels without the cooperation of MG1 (the small motor/generator). You might like to browse my Web site when you have some free time.

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Wow, you've managed to resurrect an ancient thread. Looks like none of the logins survived the "big crash" of this site.

Anyway, here's the link to Graham's Site. Click on "Original ToyotaPrius Site" once you get there. Then click on "Understanding your Prius" and browse from there. Have fun.
 
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