2010 Toyota Prius vs 2009 Toyota Prius drag raceEnlarge Photo
Which is faster, the 2010 Toyota Prius or its predecessor, the 2004-2009 Prius?
On paper, the 2010 should win. Its engine is larger (1.8 liters vs 1.5 liters) and more powerful (134 total horsepower vs 104 hp). It's even got a lower coefficient of drag, the very respectable 0.25.
This morning we got a note from Roman Mica, a "National Road and Driver Examiner". He set out to answer that question by staging a drag race between a new red 2010 Prius and a silver 2009 model.
Before you hit Play on the video below, we should say that the drag race was pretty amusing. Rather than the roaring of unmuffled 1000-horsepower V8s, you hear two electric whines as the hybrids move smartly off the line.
And it looks like Mica accidentally flipped on his windshield wipers just as the starter (who sounds like about a 10-year-old boy) does his countdown.
In the end, no surprise: The third-generation 2010 Toyota Prius noses out its predecessor to win the race. Mica does note he kept the air conditioner off to conserve power in the car's Hybrid Synergy Drive system.
And the quarter-mile times? They're, ummmm, not given.
Bonus Fact: The other driver's name--Stighetti--alludes to the mute character of "The Stig" on BBC's Top Gear show. Translation: It's an insider joke for car geeks.