European unveiling of new Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

The new Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid combines all the attributes of the fourth-generation Prius with a class-leading all-electric driving range and a series of innovative technologies.

Toyota was the first car manufacturer to offer Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHV) technology. With the launch of the second-generation Prius Plug-in Hybrid, it is taking a further step towards its goal of reducing whole-fleet CO2 emissions by 90 per cent by 2050.

Toyota’s new PHV is a powerful response to customer feedback on the original Prius Plug-in. It features sophisticated technology breakthroughs, including a Dual Motor EV drive, a battery warning system and – in two world firsts – an EV range-extending solar roof and gas injection heat pump automatic air conditioning.

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The new Prius Plug-in Hybrid has an EV driving range of more than 30 miles – double that of its predecessor – and represents a major advance in efficiency, driving performance, innovation and styling.

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Improved EV and HV driving performance are combined with targeted average fuel consumption of 282.5mpg* and CO2 emissions of 22g/km*.

State-of-the-art PHV technology

Toyota’s latest generation PHV technology offers customers two cars in one: a sophisticated full hybrid powertrain and all-electric driving. The significant increase in EV range is based on technological improvements in battery development, driving performance, and battery recharging speed.

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Key to Prius Plug-in’s 30-mile-plus EV range is its lithium-ion battery. Located beneath the load space, its volume has increased from 87 to 145 litres and its energy capacity doubled to 8.8kW/h.

EV power has increased 83 per cent thanks to the development of a new Dual Motor Drive System, which uses a compact clutch within the transaxle to engage the hybrid system generator as a second electric motor within the powertrain. This boosts EV driving power, while at the same time reducing the need for assistance from the petrol engine.

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Efficient heating and charging

In a world-first, the automatic air conditioning is powered by an efficient gas injection heat pump. Using heat absorbed from the outside air, it is capable of warming the cabin without having to start the engine, even when external temperatures drop as low as -10°C. This minimises the impact that heating the car’s interior has on the EV driving range.

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During charging, a new battery warming system will also heat the cells to an efficient working temperature. This means full power is available from start-off, even if outside conditions are as cold as -20°C.

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Maximum charging power has been increased from 2.0 to 3.3kW. The battery can now be fully charged in just two hours using a Type II Mode III Mennekes connector, or three hours 10 minutes using a standard household plug socket. The charging process can also be programmed for a week on a day-to-day basis, including the facility to simultaneously charge the battery and pre-heat or pre-cool the cabin.

Striking, stand-alone styling

The new Prius Plug-in shares the same Toyota New Global Architecture platform as the current Prius, but its striking, highly aerodynamic design builds on that familiar profile with new styling treatments.

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The front of the car is instantly distinguishable from the standard Prius because of its prominent acrylic grille treatment and ultra-compact four-LED adaptive headlamp units. Aerodynamic sculpting of the bumper sides includes vertical daytime running lights and LED turn signals at the vehicle’s extremity, reinforcing the low, ground-hugging stance.

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In profile, Prius Plug-in can be identified by its longer overhangs, its lower cowl and rear spoiler, and two-tone 15-inch alloys. At the rear the cross-section of the ‘double-bubble’ screen is carried through into the curve of the spoiler, which also integrates a line of LED lights. The tailgate itself is made from carbon fibre reinforced plastic – a first for a mass-production vehicle.

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A comprehensive aerodynamics package plays a central role in reducing fuel consumption, giving Prius Plug-in a 0.25 coefficient of drag.

Interior design

The new Prius Plug-in Hybrid shares the same overall dashboard design as the latest Prius. But it benefits from the larger, eight-inch infotainment screen with updated graphics, dual 4.2-inch TFT meters with PHV-specific graphics, and satin chrome-plated instrument panel.

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The front seats are shared with the conventional Prius, while the rear arrangement consists of two seats separated by a centre console. Meanwhile, the luggage deck has been raised to accommodate the larger plug-in hybrid system, resulting in maximum load space volume of 360 litres.

Advanced technology for greater efficiency

Every aspect of the advanced technology deployed in the new Prius Plug-in has been designed to improve the vehicle’s efficiency and promote an environmentally conscious lifestyle.

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This includes the development of a large solar panel in the roof to generate electricity to charge the hybrid system battery. When the vehicle is parked, but not connected to a charging socket, the solar roof charges a dedicated solar battery, which in turn delivers a charge to the main hybrid battery. Solar charging can increase the car’s EV range up to three miles per day – the equivalent of 620 miles of all-electric driving a year.

The driving modes now include Battery Charge Mode, which uses the engine to generate electricity and charge the battery when the vehicle is running in HV mode.

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Provisional technical specifications*

1.8 PLUG-IN HYBRID
Engine  
Displacement (cc) 1,798
Max. power (bhp/kW @ rpm) 98/73 @ 5,200
Max. torque (bhp/kW @ rpm) 142 @ 4,000
Transmission e-CVT
Performance
Fuel consumption (mpg) 282.5
CO2 emissions (g/km) 22
EV Performance
Max. EV speed (mph) 84
Max. EV range (miles) >30
Max. EV power (kW) 68
Battery
Type Lithium-ion
No of cells 95
Power (kW) 8.8
Volume (l) 145
Weight (kg) 120
Max. charging power (kW) 3.3
Max, charging time (hours) 2.0
Dimensions
Overall length (mm) 4,645
Overall width (mm) 1,760
Overall height (mm) 1,470
Coefficient of drag (Cd) 0.25

*Model specifications and performance data are for international markets. UK-specific information will be released later. Fuel consumption and emission figures are provisional and subject to homologation.

Comments (21)

  1. The Toyota website still shows the old First Generation Plug in Prius. Yet I understand this has been discontinued. Shouldn’t this be updated? It does make it more difficult to keep tabs on the latest info about this new forthcoming model when this out of date info keeps coming up. For example when the new model will be available the uk, pricing etc.
    P.s. Left some comments and questions here a couple of weeks back but they were deleted. Why was this?

    1. Hi Geoff,
      Thanks for getting in touch. Comments will only be removed from the forum if they’re offensive, contain external links or email addresses. Did you comments contain any of these elements? Please feel free to re-post on the blog and they will come through for approval. Many thanks! 🙂

        1. Hi Geoff,
          The current Prius Plug-in Hybrid is still on sale and will therefore remain on our website until announcements regarding the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid are made. No dates have been released regarding when the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid will go on sale. Many thanks!

        2. Ok, I know that no dates have been released. But can you give us an idea of when we might get dates? Actually though, reports that the boot size for this vehicle will only be 24cm high under the tonneau cover have considerably diminished my interest in this vehicle. Shame because I like it a lot otherwise, from what I have read and seen.

          1. Hi Geoff,
            Thanks for understanding. I have spoken to the relevant department and the most they can offer is sometime in Q1/Q2 next year! Sorry we can’t provide any more information. Many thanks 🙂

          2. Thanks Ellla. For some reason it’s not letting me reply directly to your last answer. Anyhow – a couple more thoughts.
            1. Wikipedia references this site which says that Toyota announced in May 2015 that production of the Gen1 Plugin Prius will be discontinued in June 2015. *CANNOT PUBLISH LINK*
            2. Regarding Q1/Q2 2017 availability of the Gen2 PHEV in the UK, because the UK Road Tax charging will cease to favour low-CO2 vehicles (after their first year) Toyota would benefit from making the car available sooner rather than later, as it will become more expensive to run and a therefore a less attractive financial proposition when bought from 1st April 2017 onwards. See *CANNOT PUBLISH LINK*

          3. Hi Geoff,
            We’re very sorry but we cannot publish a comment containing external links to our blog. However, we have just taken them out. In response to your questions:
            1. The Gen1 Prius Plug-in Hybrid is no longer production, however orders can be fulfilled from remaining stock of which there is a limited amount.
            2. Thank you for your feedback on this. Unfortunately, the launch of this car is out of our control but we will pass this on to our team so they are aware this is being brought up.
            Many thanks!

          4. Hi again Ellla. Four or five car websites published reviews of this car over the last few days, and they also contained pricing and model information.
            Yet Toyota.’s website still has neither, and in fact the latest Feb Toyota price list does not have a price for this car. Also, the Toyota brochure for it is still not available. Further, there are no new announcements on the Toyota website about the car, as though Toyota are not aware that pricing for the car and model info have been published. Stating the obvious, this seems uncoordinated and does not inspire confidence. Can you tell us when full information about this car will be published by Toyota??? Seems a reasonable thing to expect Toyota to know at this point! Apologies for the tone of frustration but in the circunstances I hope you will accept that this is understandable and in fact justified, and that “Customer First” is not customers’ experience of Toyota in this matter so far.

          5. Hi Geoff,

            We apologise for the delayed update of our website, it will be updated soon – in the meantime we would suggest speaking to your nearest dealer with regards to pricing and model specs as they will have the full information.

            Thanks

            Maria

    2. Hi Ella, Can you press your colleagues in Toyota to publish UK pricing and availability without further delay please? We’re weeks away from Q1 2017 and Toyota first started marketing this car through UK motoring journalists nine months ago back in March!

      1. Hi Geoff,
        At this moment in time we don’t have any further information regarding pricing and availability. We will publish any updates as soon as they become available. Many thanks.

        1. I can’t for the life of me understand why Toyota are so unwilling to sell this fantastic car. We are on our second one and have only ever seen one other on the road, whereas my Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is extremely common. We have been trying to get a launch date for the new Plug in Prius in the Uk ever since it was launched in the US in March but no-one seems to know what’s going on. Can anyone suggest why?

          1. Hi Val,
            Thanks for your feedback, we’re really glad you like the Prius Plug-in. We have no information on the release date for this vehicle, but as soon as we know we will let our customers know. We would have to advise keeping an eye on our social media channels and the blog.

  2. This car will suit me perfectly well (I mean EV mileage). But there are too many unknown at present, which are vitally important:
    1. price;
    2. when the car will be released?
    3. Incentives from UK Government.

    1. Hi Parail,
      In response to your questions, the price for the Prius Plug-in Hybrid has not yet been announced, this is the same for the release date of the vehicle. We expect that these will be announced in the near future. Many thanks.

      1. Hi Ella, thank you for prompt reply although your comments were very vague. Can you alo say the difference in US and UK/EU prius configuration. What I see is that EU PHV has a solar roof (a big +) but smaller infotamenent screen (-). What about such oprtions as adaptive cruise control, intellegent parking and other bgits of safety package?
        Any indications from Toyota when we can see, test and buy the car in UK?
        Thanks

        1. Hi Parail,
          We’ve asked our product specialist for some help with this. We will get back to you once we hear something! Hope this helps 🙂

          1. Hi Parail,
            Thanks for bearing with us. We have very limited detail to do with the Prius Plug-in at this moment in time, however we have just launched a light car chapter on the toyota.co.uk site so that would be worth a look. The car is Jan production, we hope to have cars in centres in march and start of sales will be March also. Hope this helps!

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