If we’re honest it’s not exactly the most exciting car to be revealed at this year’s New York Auto Show but it is an important one, especially for the American market. Toyota’s hybrid star, the Prius Prime. The Prime is a new plug-in hybrid for the Prius brand and claims to achieve the best fuel economy in its segment.
In terms of design the Prius Prime looks quite close to its standard counterpart while making use of the Mirai-like design philosophy. It retains the sedan silhouette with the sweeping c-pillar to give it more of a liftback appearance while maintaining a floating roofline design.
The Prime makes use of a 8,8 kWh battery pack which, in its EV mode, Toyota claims will be good for a range of 35 km and will be able to tolerate speeds up to 135 km/h. When working together with the 1,8-litre four-cylinder engine it will be able to average a fuel consumption of 1,9 l/100km with a 43-litre tank giving it a staggering range of around 965 km.
Charging time for the Prius Prime is approximately five and a half hours if a standard household outlet is used. Charging takes less than half of this time with a 240 V source.
The Prime also makes use of a a dual-motor generator drive system and regenerative braking. This with the double-wishbone independent rear suspension Toyota’s aim is for the new line of Prius, with the Prime included, to be a more engaging vehicle which is something that the previous version lacked.
This model seems to cater strongly for the American markets which means that the chances of the Prime making its way to South African shores are minimal.