February 15, 2006

Geek Toy

If I hadn't found a job while I was up in San Jose last week, I'd have been sweating a lot harder when we went to our local Toyota dealer last Saturday night and wrote a large-sized check for this:
It won't have a license plate for weeks yet, but an essential accessory has already been installed:
Everyone I know at work who drives a Prius can't stop raving about it. It's a car designed by geeks for geeks. It's a geek magnet. Beyond the boy-wonder design and the obvious novelty of the hybrid engine, I think that a large amount of the geek appeal comes from the display in the center of the dashboard:
The GPS-linked map alone was enough to make Shelby want the car. It does all kinds of friendly things: it helps you find ATMs, fast food restaurants, museums, and other points of interest, and will guide you to a given address, calling out your turns in a very-slightly-Midwestern-accented female voice.When you're underway, this power-flow diagram shows you where the energy is travelling inside the car at any given time: whether the wheels are being powered by the gas motor, the electric motor, or both; and whether the battery is being charged through regenerative braking. A companion screen graphs your fuel consumption (and the amount of energy you've recaptured through the regnerative brakes) over the past thirty minutes.
Anyone interested in a pre-loved 1998 Ford Contour?

This weekend we need to get it spruced up and figure out how we're going to get rid of it (AAA auto insurance gives us a 30-day new car allowance before we have to officially put the Prius on the policy — it'd be nice to boot the Contour before then, so that we're not paying for three cars at one time).

Posted by Kevin at February 15, 2006 02:20 PM

I still don't like the looks of the Pirius (there's one just down the road from me), but if you do then that's great.

Posted by: J at February 15, 2006 08:15 PM

A Prius in Germany? That's rare! Everybody over there is so hooked on their diesels that I had to explain to my co-workers what a hybrid was.

As for the looks, well, yeah ... but it's grown on me. Actually driving one instead of just looking at them on the road has changed my attitude considerably (writing the big check probably helped, too) -- it's the girl with a crooked nose who turns out to have a great personality once you get to know her of automobiles. :-)

Posted by: Kevin at February 23, 2006 10:36 AM
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