THE NEW PRIUS PLUG-IN HYBRID
• World premiere of the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid at the 2016 New York International Auto Show
• Longer running in EV mode at higher speeds of up 135 km/h, with double the range -now increased range of over 50 km
• Estimated average fuel consumption only 1.4 l/100 km -the best fuel efficiency of any current plug-in hybrid- and CO2 emissions of just 32 g/km
• TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform for a more engaging driving position and more precise and responsive handling
• Advanced technology flagship with world's first solar roof charging system and gas injection heat pump full-EV mode air-conditioning
Offering significant increases to the range, power and maximum speed of the EV (Electric Vehicle) driving experience, the second generation of Toyota's ground-breaking PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle), the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, makes its world debut at the 2016 New York International Auto Show.
Toyota pioneered plug-in hybrid technology in Europe; the start of Prius Plug-in Hybrid global sales in 2012 following an extensive 5-year PHEV leasing project.
An evolution of the responsive, intuitive and remarkably quiet hybrid drive system already available on seven other Toyota models, the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid builds on the strengths of the latest generation standard Prius, the latter itself developed with a focus on three key pillars: the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA)-based platform, design and styling, and a new, full hybrid system.
Ideally suited to customers who want to own a hybrid vehicle but also seek the benefits of extended EV driving, the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid will be available in showrooms throughout the world from the end of the year.
EV Mode-enhanced Hybrid Synergy Drive
With its larger, 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid's Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain allows drivers to remain in EV mode in more situations, for longer periods of time, helping to improve estimated total driving range on one tank of fuel.
Representing a substantial improvement over its predecessor, the new Prius Plug-in is estimated to return an average fuel consumption figure of only 1.4 l/100 km -the best mpg rating of any current plug-in hybrid- and generate CO2 emissions of just 32 g/km.
Even when not running in EV mode, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid will automatically rely more on its all-electric drive capability in situations where this proves more efficient than running the petrol engine, most notably during urban and suburban driving and on shorter journeys.
The Prius Plug-in Hybrid also features a Toyota-first dual motor/generator drive system, which uses both the electric motor and the generator to produce drive torque, helping boost both acceleration and overall performance.
The new PHEV system further minimises engine use, even when accelerating quickly or using the heater during winter months, through the adoption of a battery heating system to improve cold weather efficiency, and the world's first heat pump air-conditioning system with gas injection.
As a result of these advanced technology enhancements, the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid offers uniquely responsive, class-leading acceleration, will drive at significantly higher speed of up 135 km/h without leaving EV mode, and offers drivers an EV range of over 50 km; approximately twice that of its predecessor.
Charging of the battery pack requires just 2.3 hours using Mode 2 (Mennekes) 230 volt outlet, in spite of the increased battery capacity.
As with any Toyota full hybrid, the Prius-Plug-in Hybrid is capable of running on the petrol engine or electric motor alone, or a seamless combination of both, whilst regenerative braking recaptures electrical energy under deceleration and braking for storage in the battery, further reducing fuel consumption.
The hybrid system's 1.8 litre, 4-cylinder, Atkinson cycle VVT-i petrol engine also plays a key role in the overall efficiency of the new Toyota plug-in hybrid. As a result of the large-volume exhaust gas recirculation system, improvements in combustion efficiency and innovative ways of managing heat and reducing friction, the engine has a maximum 40% thermal efficiency, the highest level in the world for a mass-produced petrol engine.
TNGA Platform for Responsive, Engaging Handling
The Toyota New Global Architecture-based platform plays a defining role in the Plug-in Hybrid’s essential fun-to-drive quality, giving the car a lower centre of gravity compared to the current model, and securing a more engaging driving position and more precise and responsive handling, with less body roll.
These qualities are also enhanced by the Prius Plug-in Hybrid's new double wishbone rear suspension, which produces one-third the level of shock when driving on uneven roads compared to the current model. To achieve better handling with more direct response, the front MacPherson strut suspension has also been revised.
Unique Design Signature
Its chiselled profile and edgy character lines giving it an even more road-hugging stance and a lower centre of gravity, the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid is 165 mm longer, 15 mm wider and some 20 mm lower than its predecessor.
The new TNGA platform has given the designers a freer hand to craft a car that has richer visual appeal, with lower lines overall and a more athletic profile. Allied to the low weight of its high strength bodyshell, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid's wind-cheating body is crucial to the vehicle's astonishingly low energy consumption.
Incorporating advanced aerodynamics such as double bubble rear tailgate glass and automatic grille shutter which help reduce drag by closing when airflow to the radiator is not needed, the vehicle's remarkably low, Cd 0.24 coefficient of drag is expected to be among the lowest for production sedans.
Weight has been kept to a minimum through the extensive use of high-tensile steel in the bodyshell, aluminium for the bonnet, and -a mass-production car world first- the adoption of a CFRP (Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic) tailgate.
Confirming its status as a unique derivative of the Prius model range, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid is instantly recognisable by a lighting signature which features model-specific, energy-conserving four lamp LED projector headlight clusters and LED tail lamps.
TNGA also helps define the 'peace-of-mind' interior; with its excellent packaging, a lower and more engaging driving position and higher comfort levels, the four-seat layout, built around a full-cabin-length centre console, is reminiscent of the premium quality interior of a luxury coupe.
The cabin design is advanced, functional and has a powerful visual impact. It inherits the intuitive concept of previous Prius generations by consolidating operational functions closest to the driver and placing the information functions further away.
The dominant centre cluster has a 'floating' design, created using a sculpted and near-invisible rear mounting. The 8" touch-screen allows intuitive operation of the audio and navigation functions, including 'flick' actions to scroll through the displays.
The instrument cluster features dual 4.2-inch full colour TFT (thin film transistor) LCD screens with easy to read displays. The driver can change their content via steering wheel mounted switchgear.
Quietness has always been a distinguishing characteristic of Toyota’s hybrid vehicles and, with a sound-insulating laminated windscreen and front door glazing, the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid provides a cabin environment that exudes a genuine sense of luxury through exceptionally low levels of noise, vibration and harshness.
Toyota's Advanced Technology Flagship
Since the launch of its first generation in Japan in 1997, Prius has maintained its status as Toyota’s technology ambassador, an eco-car that regularly brings valuable next-generation technologies and innovations to the marketplace.
Focusing on a better, safer experience for the driver and occupants, the advanced technological achievements of the latest Prius provide an impressive platform on which the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid is able to make even greater advances.
External advances unique to the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid include energy-conserving four lamp LED projector headlights featuring unique, vehicle speed-sensitive adaptive beam technology. First demonstrated on the 2010 Auris Hybrid concept, an all-new solar roof charging system equipped with a dedicated battery makes a world-first appearance in the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid.
On board, the intelligent S-FLOW automatic air conditioning system is smaller, lighter and uses less power. Quieter thanks to a new electric compressor, it detects whether the front and rear passenger seats are occupied, minimising air flow around any empty seats.
Unique to the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, the system is the world's first to employ a heat pump with gas injection. This allows it to cool or heat the cabin when the vehicle is operating in EV mode, without the engine running. The new Prius Plug-in Hybrid is available with a wireless phone charger, located below the centre stack. Using Qi technology, this allows compatible smartphones to be recharged without having to connect a cable.
A colour head-up display is also available. This projects essential vehicle data and alerts on to the lower section of the windscreen, making information instantly and easily readable without the driver having to take their eyes off the road ahead. Content includes vehicle speed, the state of battery charge, hybrid system status, Adaptive Cruise Control with Full Speed Range Following Function setting and Lane Departure Alert.
The new Prius Plug-in Hybrid further features Toyota’s new Simple Intelligent Parking Assist (S-IPA) system, which uses an array of sensors to identify a viable parallel parking space and, when activated by the driver, steer the car into it. The system can also reverse the vehicle into perpendicular spaces and automatically steer it out of a parallel space.
Finally, the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid showcases the company's significant advance in active and preventive safety measures with the availability of Toyota Safety Sense.
This package of integrated safety features includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection and Automatic Braking; Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist; Full-Speed Adaptive Cruise Control with full stop technology and Automatic High Beam technology. A Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are also available for additional peace of mind.
These technologies help to reduce the risk of a collision and deliver additional benefits by making life easier for the driver and reducing fatigue.
The Prius plug-in Hybrid will be available in Europe towards the end of the year.