All-new 2021 Toyota Prius C (Aqua) launched in Japan – Now with bipolar battery and self-parking

CY Foong · Jul 19, 2021 03:30 PM

All-new 2021 Toyota Prius C (Aqua) launched in Japan – Now with bipolar battery and self-parking 01

After units of it had been spied, Toyota has officially unveiled the all-new generation of the Toyota Prius C which is also called the Aqua in Japan. The second-generation 2021 Toyota Prius C follows up its popular predecessor which sold more than 1.87 million units with a practical hatchback design.

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The all-new Prius C is the first vehicle in the world to use a high-output bipolar nickel-hydrogen battery as an electric drive battery. According to Toyota, this new battery promises to give improved acceleration responsiveness and longer range on electric vehicle mode - it's still a regular full-hybrid vehicle.

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Also read: All-new 2021 Toyota Prius C (Aqua) spied in Japan

What’s a bipolar battery?

All-new 2021 Toyota Prius C (Aqua) launched in Japan – Now with bipolar battery and self-parking 01

Example of a bipolar battery used in the Prius C

Compared to non-bipolar batteries, the bipolar versions consist of fewer current collectors and other parts which makes them compact. Despite taking up less space, these batteries have larger capacities which allows for greater performance on battery power alone.

All-new 2021 Toyota Prius C (Aqua) launched in Japan – Now with bipolar battery and self-parking 02

Besides, the structure of bipolar batteries allows for a greater active surface area and simpler construction. In other words, larger currents are allowed to pass through which leads to a higher output.

Approximately twice more compared to the non-bipolar batteries equipped in the previous-gen Prius C.

Also read: Geely’s 200,000 km EV battery reliability claim – valid for Malaysia?

All-new 2021 Toyota Prius C (Aqua) launched in Japan – Now with bipolar battery and self-parking 03

The all-new battery isn’t the only new feature on the second-gen Prius C. It is also the first Toyota model to feature Comfort Pedal which triggers strong regenerative braking when the driver eases off the accelerator pedal.

The concept is similar to what is already found on certain electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf’s one foot e-Pedal operation.

New powerplant and platform

All-new 2021 Toyota Prius C (Aqua) launched in Japan – Now with bipolar battery and self-parking 04

Powering the all-new Prius C is a 1.5-litre Dynamic Force hybrid engine (171 PS/261 Nm) paired to an e-CVT automatic. It is available with either front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive. The latter is called E-Four and is introduced for the first time on the all-new Prius C.

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Built on the TNGA-B platform, the latest Prius C promises a combination of exceptional quietness, a high rigidity body, exceptional quietness, and a stable ride. All packaged in a compact body that is suited for Japanese road conditions.

Also read: The TNGA-B Toyota Yaris was delayed for a year, still voted as Europe's finest

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The all-new Prius C is also not lacking in creature comforts either with an accessory and an emergency power supply mode equipped as standard. That meant that you could not only charge your smartphone, but even plug an electric kettle or a laptop if you forgot to charge on the way to a meeting.

Smart enough to park itself

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On the safety front, the Prius C is equipped with the latest edition of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) including Full Speed Range Radar Cruise Control, Lane Tracing Assist, and Plus Support. The latter controls sudden acceleration due to misapplication of the accelerator pedal.

Also read: 2021 Toyota Corolla Cross’ TSS 2.0 detailed; better choice than the HR-V?

All-new 2021 Toyota Prius C (Aqua) launched in Japan – Now with bipolar battery and self-parking 08

Debuting on a Toyota compact car is the Toyota Teammate Advanced Park and Parking Support Brake features. The former allows the car to park itself automatically and that includes steering, braking, accelerating, and gear shifting operations.

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Meanwhile, Parking Support Brake is capable of detecting stationary objects on either side and provides alerts and brake control to help avoid collisions.

The second-generation Toyota Prius C will be available across Japan from 24-July 2021 and prices range from JPY 1.98 million to 2.598 million (~RM 76,000 – 99,700). It competes directly against the Honda Fit e:HEV (fourth-gen Jazz) which starts at around the same price as the Prius C.

Also read: Sales of Honda Jazz keeps falling in Japan, but it’s just not because of Toyota Yaris

All-new 2021 Toyota Prius C (Aqua) launched in Japan – Now with bipolar battery and self-parking 10

As always, there are Modellista kits to spruce up the Prius C

That being said, it is unlikely for the all-new Prius C to make it into Malaysia as the model has been pulled out of most overseas market. So, the only way to get this smart hybrid hatchback is through a recon dealer.

Also read: Used hybrids are really cheap, so should you buy a used Toyota Prius, Camry Hybrid or Honda Insight?

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CY Foong

Writer

Traded advertising for a career that fits his passion for cars. Enjoys spotting cars during his free time and has a soft spot for Japanese Kei cars but drives a thirsty manual sedan.

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