Toyota Prius Awarded Title of `Best Engineered Car of 2001'

    DETROIT, March 5 Based on a survey of readers' opinions,
the editors of Automotive Engineering International have selected the 2001
Toyota Prius as the "Best Engineered Car of 2001".  The announcement coincided
with the opening of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International)
2001 World Congress, March 5-8, in Detroit, Michigan.
    The Prius is the world's first mass-produced hybrid vehicle. It combines
the use of a gasoline-powered internal combustion engine with an electric
motor for propulsion to achieve impressive EPA fuel economy numbers: 45mpg on
the highway and 52mpg in city driving.  Automotive Engineering International
has recognized the new Prius as one of the most environmentally friendly
passenger cars in production.
    Passenger comfort, ease of operation, visibility and affordability were
also factors considered in the selection.  The Prius is configured as a
5-passenger family sedan and is on sale in the U.S. for around $20,000.
    Toyota first introduced the Prius in 1997 in Japan to primarily
accommodate "stop and go" low-speed driving environments.  The 2001 Prius is a
second generation of the vehicle designed to function efficiently at higher
driving speeds, longer distances, and more dramatic climate changes associated
with driving in North America.
    The SAE 2001 World Congress, a showplace of automotive engineering
technology, continues through Thursday, March 8th, at Cobo Center in Detroit.
For more information, log onto the World Congress Virtual Exhibit at
http://www.sae.org.


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