Toyota Prius Plug-in front
Just as the latest Toyota Prius hits UK showrooms, the wraps have been pulled off the new plug-in hybrid version at the 2016 New York Motor Show. It gets revised styling, advanced tech and claims 202mpg which will make it the most efficient plug-in hybrid on sale when it arrives later this year.
It’s the second-generation of the plug-in hybrid Prius, and will sit alongside the regular hybrid model in the range. Using the same 1.8-litre petrol engine, the Plug-in’s powertrain gains a larger 8.8kW/h lithium-ion battery pack and dual motor drive system.
The 202mpg official figure makes it, on paper at least, 108mpg more frugal than the regular Prius. Claimed CO2 emissions are 32g/km, which is 38g/km less than the standard version and a 7g/km advantage over the VW Golf GTE.
Toyota claims that the Plug-in can be driven at up to 84mph in pure electric mode, with an EV range of 30 miles – twice that of the old Prius. Charging time is said to be around two hours and 20 minutes. No performance figures have been released, but “class-leading acceleration” is promised.
New tech such as a battery-powered heating system and gas injection air conditioning help the Prius to avoid using its petrol engine wherever possible, while the tweaked exterior means a low drag coefficient figure of 0.24Cd.
This is thanks to the body, which is 15mm wider and 20mm lower to the ground than the standard Prius, and features such as the new ‘double-bubble tailgate glass and an active grille shutter. Unique headlamps and a boomerang-style LED rear lamp design help it to stand out, too.
We’ve yet to see images of the interior, but the larger batteries have meant a switch to a four-seat layout, with the centre console running the full length of the cabin. There’s no word on official UK prices yet, although the previous model started from just over £28,000.