2023 Toyota Prius: Prime PHEV aims for 50% more electric kilometers

Toyota on Wednesday introduced a new generation of its iconic Prius that’s faster, more efficient and better equipped, along with a new version of the Prius Prime plug-in hybrid that does all that and boasts a long electric range.

Toyota has peppered the introduction of the new Prius and Prius Prime with references to sportiness. They’re built on the second-generation TNGA-C platform, and Toyota says it’s reduced weight and increased stiffness over the outgoing generation, bringing a wider stance with a lower riding position and a more nimble feeling.

The new Prius looks very familiar, especially in profile. Toyota seems to be offering a soothing alternative to the busy, overly pleated styling of the outgoing Prius with what it calls a “one-move silhouette” in the new Prius. It’s almost as if it’s spliced ‚Äč‚Äčthis one in where the previous generation left off in 2015. Inside, the Prius family seems to adopt much of the layout used inside the bZ4X EV.

2023 Toyota Prius Premium

The increased battery and engine power leads to increased fuel economy as well as hybrid performance, Toyota says, while again it’s about advanced handling. Toyota boasts “a throttle response unique to electrified vehicles”.

Provisional numbers: 57 mpg hybrid, 38 mile plug-in?

In the redesign, the hybrid Prius in front-wheel-drive LE form gains just 1 mpg combined – to around 57 mpg – over the outgoing Prius Eco. That’s 5 mpg better than the rest of the front-drive 2022 Prius lineup.

Note that this is not definitive, and in recent years Toyota has managed to do even better in many cases by the time official figures are released.

The 2023 Prius develops 194 hp in front-wheel drive form and now accelerates to 100 km/h in 7.2 seconds, 26% faster than the outgoing model. All-wheel drive models adopt a permanent magnet motor in the rear and produce 196 hp and can accelerate to 60 mph in 7.0 seconds.

The Prime’s hybrid system produces 220 hp, nearly double the power of the outgoing model, and allows it to accelerate about half a second faster to 60 mph than the faster, non-plug-in new 2023 Prius versions, at 6. 6 seconds. With the switch from nickel-metal hydride to lithium-ion, the Prius Hybrid’s battery is smaller, lighter and 15% more powerful.

2023 Toyota Prius Premium

2023 Toyota Prius Premium

Toyota says the Prius Prime will offer a range increase of more than 50% over the outgoing model. Given its 25-mile electric EPA rating, we’d expect 38 miles or more for the new model. That’s less than the 42 miles offered by the popular RAV4 Prime, which has a limited supply. Toyota hasn’t disclosed the battery size yet, but says the Prime has a newly developed lithium-ion pack.

Prime positions itself as sportier

The new Prius will be offered in LE, XLE and Limited versions; the Prius Prime plug-in hybrid is considered the sportiest selection, along with SE, XSE and XSE Premium versions.

In its LE version, the 2023 Prius will feature an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, 17-inch alloy wheels and six USB-C ports, as well as blind spot monitor and traffic alert. rear cross traffic. The XLE grade adds 19-inch alloy wheels, power driver’s seat, heated front seats, wireless device charging, smart key system, it also adds front and rear park assist with braking automatic, which is optional on the LE. Optional on the XLE is a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, fixed glass roof and digital key system. Toyota notes that this larger infotainment system was designed by a Texas-based team and includes over-the-air updates, as well as a suite of cloud-supported utilities to aid in navigation. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported, with new Wi-Fi hotspot capability.

2023 Toyota Prius

2023 Toyota Prius

Top XLE trims include that larger touchscreen and digital key system as well as the JBL premium eight-speaker audio system, fixed glass roof, heated steering wheel, power tailgate, heated front seats and ventilated. On it, heated rear seats, a digital rearview mirror, a panoramic monitor and an advanced parking system are optional.

The solar roof is coming, many more security technologies

Equipment on all three levels of the Prime closely resembles that of the three hybrid Prius trim levels, but a solar glass roof, which Toyota says will power the battery while parked, is available. It’s unclear at this point if this is the solar roof technology that Toyota tested in Japan in the outgoing generation; this system charged 860 watts of solar panels on the roof.

A feature unique to the Prime making its Toyota debut is Traffic Jam Assist, which assists with steering, acceleration and braking, under 25 mph, and only if a driver monitor confirms the driver has his eyes on the road.

2023 Toyota Prius Premium

2023 Toyota Prius Premium

Toyota makes a big deal of the safety and convenience features of the new Prius, including front and rear park assist with automatic braking in all trims, as well as blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The Limited trim adds a Surround View Monitor and Advanced Park is available. The entire Prius lineup features Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, which includes radar-assisted full-speed cruise control, lane-departure warning system, and pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection, among other features.

Over-the-air updates are on the way, along with an improved suite of Google-connected navigation tools.

Digging into hybrid heels or laying the groundwork for more electric vehicles?

Toyota says the Prius fits into its plans to go “beyond zero,” with the electrified North American lineup including ten hybrids, two plug-in hybrids and the bZ4X EV, as well as the fuel cell Mirai at hydrogen – all among many more Toyota electric vehicles in the world.

To that, Toyota says it has sold more than 5 million units of the Prius in North America and more than 20 million worldwide, and of those it claims has avoided more than 82 million tons of CO2 emissions.

2023 Toyota Prius Premium

2023 Toyota Prius Premium

Toyota will announce pricing and on-sale date for the new Prius later this year. The Prius Prime is only a few months late; it says it will confirm pricing and an on-sale date for this version in the first half of 2023.

Before that, we’re hoping to get more answers on the Prius Prime’s sales growth and whether it’s ready to build enough of them to meet demand. So stay tuned.

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