Toyota Introduces the New Prius Hybrid With More Power, Range, and Style
The newly designed Toyota gas-electric Prius hybrid not only has more power and acceleration, but also a longer driving range. Additionally, it now boasts a sleek, futuristic look–ditching the old stodgy angular body.
On Wednesday, Simon Humphries—GLOBAL Toyota’s senior general manager of design—unveiled the car in Tokyo and Los Angeles. He later emphasized that despite naysayers constantly asking how much longer Japanese automakers will produce hybrids in an increasingly electric industry, Toyota has no plans to stop anytime soon.
He told reporters that the Prius is an eco-car within everyone’s reach, and that in order to achieve carbon neutrality, everyone must participate. He said we need ecological solutions that are within reach of the many, and they need to start today – not tomorrow.
The fifth-generation Prius hybrid models will go on sale this winter first in Japan then the U.S., with a plug-in version hitting the market next year, according to Toyota Motor Corp. Prices were not announced at this time.
The automaker replaced an older, heavier nickel-metal-hydride battery for a smaller lithium-ion one that provides 15% more energy. Consequently, the engine size increased from 1.8 liters to 2, and the horsepower shot up from 121 to over 190. This resulted in zero to 60 mph (97 kilometers per hour) acceleration decreasing from over 10 seconds down to around 7 seconds depending on the Prius version/model. Stephanie Brinley, principal automotive analyst for S&P Global Mobility said: “That really will make for more confident driving.”
The Prius, which was first available for purchase in 1997, alternate between using a gasoline engine and electric motor. This makes for a cleaner drive than the models with only regular combustion engines.
Toyota estimates that by 2023, the Prius will run on 57 mpg while driving in both city and highway settings- making it their most efficient model yet.
While electric cars don’t emit any gas, they need to be recharged periodically. Some consumers are hesitant about running out of power while on the roads. However, hybrids always have a gas engine as backup.
Toyota has sold more than 20 million hybrid vehicles globally up to this point, including Prius cars. The Latin meaning of “Prius,” which is “pioneer” or “first,” defines Toyota just as much as its Lexus luxury models do.