2016 Toyota Prius Offers Light Towing and AWD, But Not In US

For the first time in the Prius’ 19-year history, Toyota is offering towing capability and all-wheel drive as options in some markets, however, not in the U.S.

While the mid-sized hybrid is essentially the same in all global markets, Toyota has tailored it to meet specific government regulations as needed in different countries.

“E-Four” all-wheel drive is an approximately $1,450 option available only in Japan, and adding to the list of options not sold in the States is towing, which Toyota in the U.K. recently began promoting. To call attention to the feature, the automaker’s U.K. arm published a few photos highlighting the possibilities of utilizing a tow hitch and pulling a trailer or light caravan.

ALSO SEE: 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Plug-In Hybrid Gets an Estimated 120 MPGe

The weight of the potential load is limited to less than the 2,000-pound threshold of Class 1, and is just 725 kg (1,598 pounds), but enough for the lightweight teardrop trailer shown.

“Prius’s new-found ability is thanks to heat management measures that have been introduced in the hybrid system’s main electric motor-generator and the differential,” says the automaker. “As a result, the car has a maximum towing capacity of 725 kg for both braked and unbraked trailers.”

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A version of story originally appeared on HybridCars.com

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