Toyota has unveiled its all-new Prius Series Parallel Hybrid (HEV) and Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) models. The market should expect these new models to launch in the winter of this year and spring of the next, respectively.
Toyota says it decided to treat this new generation to an overhaul to its feature list and appearance. With this, the company says it intends to widen the appeal of hybrids in the future.
Inheriting the mono-form silhouette of the original Prius, the new Prius has revamped its proportions through a low center of gravity and large-diameter 19-in. wheels on the second-generation TNGA platform. The front possesses what Toyota calls a “hammerhead shark-like design,” while the rear design offers rear combination taillights extending horizontally to the left and right.
A total of eight body colors are available, including two newly developed solid base colors, “Ash” and “Mustard.”
2.0-liter Plug-in Hybrid System
- The new Prius comes with Toyota’s first 2.0-liter Plug-in Hybrid System. The combination of a high-efficiency Dynamic Force Engine and lithium-ion batteries for high output drive achieves as much as 164 kW (223 PS) while maintaining the same level of fuel efficiency as the previous model, according to Toyota.
- EV driving range is about 50% higher than the previous model, with improved battery performance. It also comes with a “My Room Mode” that lets users enjoy air conditioning and audio systems from the external power source by turning the power switch on during charging, making the interior space even more comfortable.
- With the PHEV, the battery pack is located under the rear seat instead of in the cargo area, giving the new Prius a lower center of gravity and increased cargo capacity.
2.0-liter / 1.8-liter Series Parallel Hybrid System
- This version of the new Prius employs the latest Series Parallel Hybrid System. Maximum system output is 144 kW (193 PS) for the 2.0-liter version, which is 1.6 times higher than the previous model, achieving an appropriate dynamic performance for the sporty new Prius.
- This version comes with the latest E-Four system. Employing a high-output motor and other features, it offers improved uphill performance on low-friction road surfaces, like snow-covered roads, and greater stability when turning.
The second-generation TNGA platform was developed as an ongoing improvement of the matured TNGA, allowing for a lower center of gravity and large-diameter tires, Toyota says. Additional reinforcement throughout the body has increased rigidity and improved quietness. Using MacPherson struts at the front and a double wishbone setup at the rear, the suspension system provides stability for straight-line driving, responsiveness that meets driver intentions in corners, and easy line-tracing ability.
The new Prius is equipped with a Toyota Safety Sense monocular camera at the front, a rear-facing camera for the Digital Inner Mirror, and an in-vehicle drive recorder. This setup has a clean appearance without a sense of the cameras and wires being retrofitted. The data is stored on the ECU to avoid data corruption and other issues associated with SD cards and properly manage important camera data.
This model is also equipped with two 100 VAC / 1,500 W accessory power outlets; one at the back of the center console and one in the cargo space. Users can select the BEV external power supply mode, which uses power from the battery only without starting the engine, or the HEV external power supply mode, which recharges the battery from the engine if the remaining power is too low. It also comes with an external electric power supply attachment as standard so that an external power supply is possible with the door windows closed to prevent rain and insects from getting in the car when in use.
The new Prius also comes with a panoramic view moonroof which can be fully opened. PHEV models are equipped with a second-generation solar charging system that achieves a more efficient conversion of solar energy into electricity, Toyota says. This generates power equivalent to driving up to 1,250 km (approx. 776 miles) per year. Electric power generated while parked is used to charge the drive battery, with the system supplying electricity for driving and for air conditioning and other functions. Electric power generated during driving is used to supplement the auxiliary battery system.
Following Japan, the new Prius will launch in North America, Europe, and other countries worldwide. Toyota will also offer the vehicle in Japan through the Kinto car subscription service. The company will release more exact details of the service plan in winter this year.