Jan 11-14, 2009. A small group of us was invited by Toyota to be the first to view or "experience" the 2010 Prius - the third generation of this industry-leading hybrid. Flight, transportation and all meals (and cocktails... don't forget the cocktails!) were included - as well as exclusive access to the vehicles and even the chief engineer. An amazing event that will not soon be forgotten.
Some professional images of the event are found here.
Poster signed by the chief engineer.
It never got above freezing. But that was only OUTSIDE. Inside, it was far too warm for my liking, and I found myself strolling around outside several times just to get fresh air and natural light. At this point - about 3pm, it was 17°F. The warmest it ever got for the three days I was there.
Nobody would come out with me, so I had to build my own snowman.
There were several important things to determine in the new car. One was to make sure that beer bottles fit in the new cup holders.
Another important aspect was to find just the right experts to answer your questions. Jill was my favorite ;)
Even the drinks were pretty cool.
The new "emergency" key is now internally cut.
The solar roof with moon roof. (The PV panel only provides power to an automatic ventilation fan for hot days. It does NOT charge the car in any way).
LED headlights. Now that's cool. Standard is still halogen, but the upgrade is to LED now instead of HID.
Yup. I still look dorky even sitting in a pre-production show car.
No, I'm not actually petting the car. I'm demonstrating that the Darell Mod™ of the rear wiper can still be done on the 2010. We just don't know why we still *have* to! Please note that MY drink is held at a safe distance from the action. I don't know who the rookie in the foreground is.
My buddy John. This picture proves that I'm important in the Prius world.
The whole group including the Chief Engineer front and center.