Toyota has unveiled a more efficient plug-in hybrid version of the Prius sedan at the 2016 New York Auto Show. The new plug-in hybrid is called the Prius Prime.
Powering the new Prius Prime is the same 1.8-litre petrol engine which is paired up with a dual motor system that take their power from a 8.8kW/h lithium-ion battery pack. The combined system gives the Prius Prime a fuel efficiency of 120MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) which is expected to be the highest MPGe rating of any plug-in hybrid when it goes on sale in the United States.
Toyota claims that the Plug-in can be driven at up to 135km/h in pure electric mode, with an electric only range of 48.2 kilometers. The lithium-ion battery can be charged up in around two hours and 20 minutes. Claimed CO2 emissions figures for the Prius Prime is 32g/km.
To help increase efficiency the prius Prime uses solar panels on the roof to charge the battery and there is a gas injection heat pump system that keeps the AC running in fully electric mode.
Design wise the Prius Prime looks quite different from the normal Prius. It borrows the front end of Toyota's hydrogen powered Mirai while the rear is dominated by the boomerang-style LED rear lamps.
The new Prius Prime is expected to go on sale in the second half of 2016.