The auto world is already abuzz over the new and improved Toyota Prius, and this week the plug-in posse got a charge as the new plug-in hybrid version was unveiled at the New York Auto Show.
The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime, as the new PHEV is called, will have an 8.8 kWh battery pack and an EPA rated electric range of 22 miles. That doesn’t compete with the new Chevy Volt’s 53 miles, but compares favorably with most other current PHEVs, such as the 2016 Hyundai Sonata PHEV (25 miles) and the Ford Fusion and C-MAX Energis (20 miles).
Toyota estimates fuel efficiency at 120 MPGe.
Toyota is touting the improved performance of its new Prius, and it says the Prius Prime will be equally fun to drive (unlike the previous Prius Plug-In, which reviewers found to be less peppy than the standard Prius hybrid).
The Prime features a new dual-motor hybrid system, in which both electric motors can provide acceleration in electric mode. Toyota says that the range of conditions in which the Prime will use electric power only has been expanded. It hasn’t said whether the Prime will feature an electric-only mode as some other PHEVs do, but did say that it can go up to 84 mph under electric power.
Toyota plans to make the Prius Prime available in all 50 states. It will announce prices for its new PHEV later this year, and says that it will probably begin arriving at dealers in November.