Toyota announced they will delay the launch of the new plug-in hybrid Prius Prime model in Japan to winter of this year instead of this fall.
According to Reuters, the company declined to give a reason for the delay or be more specific on when the car will be launched.
The Toyota Prius Prime makes use of a bigger, 8.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack that gives is a pure electric driving range of 22 miles. The company has also significantly updated the looks of it, in a bid to set the basic Prius from the Prime apart in the market.
The company claims an estimated average fuel consumption figure of just 168 mpg (1.4 liters/100 km – 120MPGe) and 32 g/km of CO2 emissions. The interior features a very Tesla-like 11.6-inch multimedia screen and a four-seat layout.
A Toyota spokesman also said that they are going to reduce initial production of the model and increase the output later on, depending on demand. Sales of the regular Prius have been lower than expected in the United States since its debut in February, partly because of the low fuel prices that kept demand for SUVs and pickup trucks high.
However the new Prius is the best-selling model in Japan since the start of the year. Toyota’s original plan was to launch the plug-in Prime version of the Prius in Japan this autumn, followed by North America and Europe.