Toyota unveils Prius Prime PHEV

Toyota unveils Prius Prime PHEV


A new addition to the Prius line-up has been unveiled by Toyota at the New York Auto Show in the shape of the Prius Prime. The new model is the first to bear the name and features different styling front and rear – but most importantly, under the bonnet sits a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

The new Prius Prime has a greater focus on its electric systems than before, and can travel further and faster in all-electric mode featuring a 22 mile range and a top EV speed of 84mph. Based on the same Toyota New Global Architecture platform as the Prius, the Prius Prime benefits from the new and more efficient 1.8 litre petrol engine, stiffer but lighter chassis, and improved emissions and fuel economy levels.

Official figures come in at 32 g/km CO2 and an estimated 202 MPG weighted combined, setting the new Prius Prime ahead of its competition in the PHEV market. These are achieved with an 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery and a dual electric motor/generator drive system.

Toyota emphasised the fun-to-drive elements of the Prius Prime too, stating that it has worked on improving ride, handling and drivetrain responsiveness, hoping to tempt buyers that hadn’t considered a plug-in hybrid before, let alone a conventional hybrid. Revealed at the same press conference as the new C-HR hybrid crossover and refreshed GT86 sportscar, the Prius Prime is in good company in terms of engaging driver’s cars.

Toyota claim the Prius Prime is the “most technologically advanced hybrid in the world” and will hope that the widespread acclaim for the Prius will be seen when the Prius Prime launches. The new model has a number of different features though, not just the new design front and rear, to distinguish it from the Prius range.

The car’s shape is largely dictated by a very low drag coefficient so that the car’s aerodynamics help maximise efficiency. However, there is apparently space for four adults to sit in comfort inside, while the cabin features new systems such as a large touch-screen infotainment set-up. Toyota offers a large number of driver and safety assistance systems too.

Pricing will be announced closer to the car’s on-sale date, which is expected towards the end of this year.