Announced at the New York International Auto Show this week is the addition of a new family member to the fourth generation Prius line-up, the Prius Prime plug-in hybrid. The most efficient hybrid model in the Toyota line of vehicles is manufacturer-estimated to achieve 120 or above MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent), a number that is 26 percent better than its predecessor. In hybrid mode, the Prius Prime is aiming for equal or better mpg than its hatchback cousin, which gets an EPA-estimated 52 mpg combined city and highway driving.
The electric powertrain in the Prius Prime now has the battery capacity to travel in full EV mode for 22 miles — double the electric range of over the old plug-in hybrid — and up to speeds of 84 mph without having to rely on the 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine. For those long trips, total range is estimated to be around 600 miles before having to stop for fuel and/or recharge the battery. Toyota estimates that charging the Lithium-ion battery pack takes approximately 5.5 hours when connected to a household 110-volt outlet or a little over two hours using an LV2 or 240-volt source.
Now that the fourth generation Prius is built on Toyota’s new global architecture (TNGA) platform, the stronger chassis, weight savings, and suspension improvements make the Prius more enjoyable to drive than the old model.
Cabin tech new for the Prius Prime, which differs from its hybrid counterpart, is an available 11.6-inch multimedia HD display and available full-color head-up display. Toyota Safety Sense™ P, a full suite of active safety features that includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection and automatic braking, lane departure alert with steering assist, dynamic radar cruise control with full stop capability, and automatic high beams come standard. Also available is a blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert when backing out of a parking space.
Owners looking to spend less time at the gas pump can start shopping for the 2017 Prius Prime at Toyota dealerships late Fall 2016. Check it out in this “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know” video.