Prius plug-in hybrid 2012 dpl: inspired by the prius, with exclusive design cues
Sharing the third generation Prius'characteristic, sweeping triangular silhouette, and 20 mm longer to accommodatea new frontal design, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid is instantly recognisable as theflagship model in Toyota's remarkable full hybrid family.
The Prius Plug-in Hybrid weighs just1,425 kg, only 55 kg more than a standard Prius. The weight of the newLithium-ion battery has been limited to just 80 kg, 50% less than that of the2010 prototype vehicle's battery pack and only 38 kg more than that of regularPrius' nickel metal-hydride battery, despite an extension of the car's EVdriving mode range.
As with every member of the Priusfamily, in order to fully benefit from its light-weight, high tensile steel andaluminium construction and Hybrid Synergy Drive® powertrain, thePrius Plug-in Hybrid's distinctive exterior design focuses on maximisingaerodynamic efficiency to improve fuel economy, handling stability andquietness. The result is an aerodynamic vehicle with an excellent coefficientof drag of only Cd 0.25, which it shares with the standard Prius.
The front of the new Prius Plug-inHybrid features the latest representation of Toyota's trapezoidal, Under Priority design. Beneath an uppergrille opening kept as small as possible to maintain a smooth airflow over theupper body, the lower grille has been enlarged, and incorporates achrome-plated moulding and a silver accent colour to the upper trim panel.
The upper headlamp extension areafeatures a blue smoke paint finish to further differentiate the new Toyota PHVfrom the rest of the Prius family.
In profile, the new Prius Plug-inHybrid may be identified by a battery charger lid located on the opposite rearwing to the fuel filler cap, which features a silver plug logo to readilydifferentiate it from the fuel cap. Additional PHEV-specific details include asilver accent finish to the door handles, an exclusive new 15", 5 spoke alloywheel design which contributes to aerodynamic performance, and a frontfender-mounted Plug-in Hybrid logo.
To the rear, the large, energyefficient LED lamp clusters are finished with a unique, clear lens, the licensegarnish features an exclusive silver accent colour, and the Hybrid SynergyDrive® badging has been adapted to incorporate a plug-in symbol.
The Prius Plug-in Hybrid is availablein a six colour range Silver, Abyss Grey, Pearl White, Super White, FrostyGreen and, exclusive to the new Toyota PHEV, True Blue.
Innovativeand Spacious Interior Design
Despite a significant increase in EVmode driving range, the highly compact packaging of the new Lithium-ion batterypack means that neither rear passenger accommodation nor loadspace have beencompromised.
The new Toyota PHEV accommodates 5people and has a luggage capacity of 443 litres with the rear seats inposition, only 2 litres smaller than that of the standard Prius, with the addedbenefit of a 22 litre storage box beneath the loadspace deck. With the 60:40split rear seats folded down to give a flat loadspace floor, luggage capacityincreases to a total of 1,120 litres.
The Prius Plug-in Hybrid shares thethird generation Prius' dual-zone dashboard, designed to both minimise the needfor driver eye movement while viewing vehicle information and to provideergonomic functionality of all controls and switchgear. The new PHEV'sdashboard is hallmarked by high brightness silver paint trim and a Plug-inHybrid-exclusive logo.
The upper, 'display zone' focuses onthe combination of a head-up display and a rebated centre meter clusterpositioned at an ideal distance for at-a-glance reading of vehicle statusinformation. As well as vehicle speed and other conventional instrumentation,the LED meter also incorporates a Touch Tracer display, and an ECO DriveSupport Monitor with expanded content and functionality.
The lower 'command zone' ischaracterised by a distinctive, asymmetric 'bridge' construction which not onlyplaces the fly-by-wire transmission lever within the closest possible reach ofthe driver's hand but also creates a generous additional storage compartmentbelow. This lower zone focuses onthe full-colour Toyota Touch display screen, placing the control of audio andsatellite navigation systems within easy reach of the driver.
The front seats now benefit from anew, two-step heater system with improved control to suppress temperaturefluctuations and enhance comfort. In Eco mode, the seat heaters are nowautomatically coordinated with the air conditioning system. They activate towarm occupants more quickly, reducing the load on the air conditioning systemto further increase the Prius Plug-in Hybrid's fuel efficiency.