New Toyota PriusNo more stuffiness – the Prius is finally cool
As far as design and driving dynamics are concerned, the hybrid pioneer has been hard to convince so far. The new release has the potential to change that.
From a modernized economy car to a dynamic part-time electric vehicle: In its fifth generation, Toyota’s hybrid pioneer Prius finally takes all the worry out of it with its sporty, elegant appearance and twice the power. The icon of the brand celebrated its world premiere this week in Japan and at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It should arrive in Switzerland in the spring of 2023 – and only with a plug-in hybrid drive. The Japanese have not yet provided any information on prices.
The Prius has always been aerodynamically designed, but in the new edition, the body modified for low air resistance looks really cool for the first time. The basis is the second generation of the TNGA platform, which enables a flatter silhouette and a lower center of gravity. Although the total length has shrunk by almost five centimeters to 4.60 meters, the wheelbase has grown by the same amount. Thanks to this, the four-door sits much more firmly on the road than before. In keeping with the brand’s new design style, there are very narrow headlights at the front, and a characteristic strip of lights at the back.
The interior is mostly black. The instruments behind the steering wheel are designed as small digital screens, and there is another display on the center console, which is rather small by current standards. There are still physical knobs and switches to control the climate control.
As for the drive program, Toyota has ditched the classic full hybrid powertrain in Europe – which is reserved for the Corolla, Yaris and RAV4. Instead, there is a plug-in hybrid under the hood, in which a 2-liter four-cylinder works with an electric motor on the front axle. Together, they provide 164 kW/223 hp, roughly 100 hp more than the previous model. The electric range should also be roughly double. The manufacturer does not provide any precise information about the standard consumption and driving performance, but it should be possible to drive around 80 to 90 kilometers per charge. The energy for this is in the battery, which has increased to 13.6 kWh and is recharged via a cable or via the optional solar roof. According to Toyota, this should allow a free range of up to 1,250 kilometers per year.