With its debut set for March 23, Toyota is being cryptic about the car’s details, only saying that it will be the “next mechanical marvel in the Prius lineup.”
Based on timing, it seems the plug-in is the most likely model to return for 2017 as the future of the V and C variants is still unknown. The last Prius plug-in ended production at the end of the 2015 model year, leaving the market for 2016, though Toyota pledged at the time that a new plug-in was coming.
The last-generation car was capable of 15 miles of electric-only driving, a fact that it is widely criticized for considering cars like the Chevy Volt can travel up to 50 miles on electricity only. The new 2017 Prius plug-in is expected to pack a larger battery and be capable of between 30 and 35 miles of electric range.
Along with the boost in electric range, overall efficiency should be improved with the car, both of which should help to make a better case for the plug-in. In the four years it was on the market, the last plug-in Prius only managed to move 42,293 units, a fraction of what the standard Prius sells.