Toyota Italy have been putting the fourth-generation Toyota Prius through its paces in Rome, conducting a gruelling emissions study that the hybrid passed through with exceptional results.

The study was conducted by a research team from the University of Rome, and gathered data from over 1,360 miles of driving on a typical Rome commuting journey. The results revealed that Toyota have taken the efficiency of its most famous hybrid to new heights; test Prius cars produced zero emissions for an average of 73.2% of the journey, including periods where the car was stationary, with the engine automatically switched off.

The urban areas were of most concern for the researchers, where noise, pollution and air quality are particularly high. In these sections, the Prius shone; it achieved no emissions an incredible 79.4% of the journey time.

These amazing results were down to Toyota’s latest Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain, which meant that 45% of the car’s drive power came from the electric motor, with 34.3% coming from the regenerative braking system. This is particularly useful in stop/start traffic conditions in city centres like Rome, where a lot of your journey can consist of braking and slowing down.

The study was conducted with a team of 20 drivers, equally divided between men and women in age groups of up to and over 35. An even mix of people were used as drivers, between those who had driven a hybrid before and who hadn’t. Each driver travelled the same 37km route through Rome and back at three different times of the day; morning, afternoon and evening. Each Prius was the same standard model, and for every journey the air-con was switched off and Eco drive mode was selected.

The fourth-generation Toyota Prius offers advanced styling and truly rewarding handling, and is the first to offer the new Toyota New Global Architecture-based platform, redefining what it means to drive a hybrid. Find the new Toyota Prius, along with the rest of the hybrid range, at Lancaster Toyota today.