Prius+ 2012 DPL: Iconic styling and new design approach to spacious interior
- New vehicle featuring iconic Prius family triangle silhouette
- Aerodynamic exterior design to achieve low fuel economy, handling stability and vehicle quietness
- All-new interior design with advanced dashboard and centre console architecture for improved ergonomics
- Spacious interior for 7 passengers and ample luggage capacity
- Split/folding/sliding second row and split/folding third row seats for maximum versatility
The Toyota Prius+ is a new vehicle, designed from the ground up. Its advanced, cutting-edge exterior design hallmarks it as an evolution of the original Prius.
Though still compactly sized to optimise its aerodynamic performance, the Prius+ provides, as its name suggests, a significant increase in space and passenger accommodation. It is 135 mm longer than a standard Prius, 30 mm wider, and 85 mm higher, with a wheelbase extended by 80 mm, making it possible to accommodate 7 people in three rows.
Instantly recognisable as the latest member of the Prius family through its characteristic, triangle silhouette, the new Prius+ combines Toyota's Under Priority frontal design language with painstaking airflow management to give the new 7-seat full hybrid uniquely clean, advanced and cutting-edge styling.
To gain the full benefit of its lightweight, high tensile steel and aluminium construction and its uniquely quiet Hybrid Synergy Drive® powertrain, the Prius+ exterior design focuses on maximising aerodynamic efficiency to improve fuel economy, handling stability and quietness.
The front of the new Prius+ features the latest representation of Toyota's trapezoidal, Under Priority design. Featuring chrome-plated horizontal trim, the upper grille opening has been kept as small as possible to maintain a smooth airflow over the upper body. In contrast, the lower grille has been enlarged to increase engine cooling efficiency.
The tops of the sharp-edged, halogen headlamp clusters feature an adaptation of the curved line detail first seen on the current generation Prius, reinforcing the new full hybrid's position within the Prius family line-up.
Housing LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs), the flat, vertical surfaces of the bumper extremities not only reinforce the car's broad stance and driving stability, but also create 'aero-corners' which correct the airflow as it passes over the front wheels to minimise turbulence within the wheelarches.
In profile, the iconic, Prius family triangle silhouette is instantly recognisable. The Prius+ evolves this design DNA with a strong spindle shape created by the long, seamless flow of the bonnet, A-pillar and roofline, the clean sweep of full-length side glazing emphasised by blacked-out B- and C-pillars, and a rising crease in the lower bodywork which flows smoothly into the rear bumper.
Distinctive rear styling is highlighted by a practical, top hinged tailgate flanked by large combination lamp clusters with Synergy Blue ornamentation, which flow round the corners of the bodywork to enhance visibility. The rear combination lamps are spaced as widely as possible, not only maximising tailgate opening width but also reinforcing the vehicle's broad, stable rear stance.
The smooth convergence of airflow from the roof and sides of the bodywork is important to the aerodynamic efficiency of the new Prius+. The body itself tapers in plan form, and the flow of air away from the vehicle is smoothed by a roof spoiler optimised for length and angle, an 'air kick' shape built into the rear combination lamp clusters, and aero corners to the rear bumper.
In addition, front and rear spats fitted at the front of each wheel arch suppress airflow changes around the tyres, improving straight-line stability and steering performance.
In combination, these comprehensive aerodynamic measures award the new Prius+ a class leading drag coefficient of just Cd 0.28.
The presence of Hybrid Synergy Drive® is denoted by hybrid blue lamp ornamentation and Toyota badging, and the front wing 'Hybrid' badge. The new Prius+ is available in a range of seven exterior colours, including Toyota's unique White Pearl finish.
The 16" alloy wheels with aerodynamic wheel caps and the 17" aluminium alloys both feature tyres with a 5% lower rolling—resistance than those fitted to the standard Prius.
All-new Interior Design
The dynamic architecture of an all new interior design features a horizontal dashboard which encompasses the centre console, centre cluster and instrumentation in one flowing form. Combined with concave door trim and a well-defined centre space between console and cluster for connecting driver and front passenger, this creates an unprecedented sense of spaciousness.
The console flows into a dashboard-top mounted centrally position instrument binnacle, allowing for excellent visibility. Within the binnacle, the Hybrid System Indicator, speedometer and gear shift indicator are positioned close to the steering wheel, minimising driver eye movement from the road.
Instrumentation and switchgear within the centre console and centre cluster is clearly divided between driving operation controls and all other functions. All driving related switchgear is positioned adjacent to the steering wheel, and mounted within a metal-like surface finish.
The Toyota Touch multi information screen -incorporating audio, navigation and vehicle information systems- and the air conditioning controls are mounted within a high quality black background finish. The air conditioning system features a new, single dial controller, which allows for the adjustment of temperature, mode and fan speed through the simple, intuitive action of a single knob.
The new Prius+ interior is hallmarked throughout by contrasting finishes and soft touch materials, combining an advanced look and feel with operational practicality. A choice of two interior colour schemes —Aqua and Grey- may be combined with two grades of fabric upholstery, or 'Toyota E-Tex' — a highly durable synthetic material which has the texture of leather yet is 30% lighter and may be readily wiped clean.
Spacious, Three Tier, 7-Seat Packaging
At 2,780 mm, the new Prius+'s wheelbase is 80 mm longer than that of a standard Prius. The vehicle rear overhang is also 50 mm longer, ensuring that both passenger accommodation and loadspace are significantly more spacious that those of the standard Prius.
The new Toyota full hybrid's seven-seat format features three, independent, sliding/split/folding second row seats and a 50:50 split/folding third tier. The adoption of third row seating has been made possible by the installation of a highly compact, space-saving lithium-ion battery pack within the vehicle centre console between the front seats.
The couple distance between front and second row seats is 965 mm, 35 mm longer than Prius. And the couple distance between first and third row seats is a class-leading 1,635 mm. Both second and third tier knee room has been further improved by 25 mm through the use of a thin, curved front and second row seatback design.
Clear forward visibility for all occupants has been realized by raising the seating height of each row by 45 mm over that in front, while maintaining ample head clearance in every row.
Featuring a 25 mm increase in headroom, 27 mm more shoulder room and 18 mm more hip room than those of the standard Prius, the front seats incorporate 260 mm slide adjustment, 60 mm height adjustment, and are fully reclineable. A next generation frame design offers improved fit, feel and lateral hold. The driver's seat features power-adjustable lumbar support, and both front seats may be equipped with heaters.
With easy-to-use release levers mounted on the shoulders of all five rear seats, the new Prius+ offers genuine MPV levels of seating flexibility, combined with generous loadspace.
Offering occupants 75 mm greater headroom and 59 mm more shoulder room than Prius, the second tier features three seats which may be independently slid, folded and reclined. The outer seats have a sliding range of 180 mm, the centre seat 165 mm, allowing for a staggered seating plan to further increase adult shoulder room. All three seats may be folded fully flat to maximise the Prius+'s loadspace capacity and, for additional comfort, reclined by up to 35 degrees.
Folding independently to lie flat and level with the loadspace floor, the third row seats may also be reclined by up to 33 degrees.
The Prius+ provides 232 litres of cargo space, even with seven passengers on board. With the third seating row stowed, this figure rises to 784 litres, and with all second and third row seats folded flat, increases to a maximum 1,750 litres. A 1,105 mm wide and 730 mm high tailgate opening, 95 mm wider and 85 mm higher than that of the standard Prius, facilitates easy loading and unloading.
Storage flexibility is enhanced through a large 345 mm deep, 60 litre storage tray beneath the luggage deck. Shopping bags can easily be stored under the cargo deck and a suit case or baby stroller can be stored vertically by flipping up the deck board.
Fundamental to any multi-purpose family vehicle, the Prius+ is also comprehensively equipped with a variety of storage compartments catering for every seating tier.
The instrument panel incorporates an 8.5 litre glove box, a 4.5 litre passenger upper box and an accessory space on the driver's seat side. A side-opening 2 litre centre console box can accommodate up to 8 CDs, and may be operated from both front and second row seats. A mobile phone or USB-connected iPod can be stored in a dedicated centre console tray.
An A4 sized document or plastic bottle can be stored in both front and rear door pockets. And a map lamp-integrated accessory box and front seatback pockets are also available. A total of five cupholders are divided between all three seating tiers.