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Toyota Debuts Prius Prime Plug-in Hybrid with Better Style and Range

Toyota Debuts Prius Prime Plug-in Hybrid with Better Style and Range

By Philly Murtha, March 24, 2016
Toyota revealed its new 2017 Prius Prime plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) at this week’s New York Auto Show. The Prius Prime, which debuts two years after the previous model ended production, features edgier styling than the fourth-generation standard Prius and a larger 8.8-kWh battery pack. It will arrive in dealer showrooms this fall in all 50 states.

The new 4-seat Prime, which is slightly longer, wider, and lower than the prior model, achieves an estimated 120 MPGe, which would be the highest rating for any plug-in hybrid, Toyota states. The Prius Prime is expected to double the electric range of the previous Prius plug-in to about 22 miles—the average daily commuter range for nearly half of all U.S. drivers, according to Toyota. The car reaches speeds up to 84 mph without leaving EV mode, the automaker says.

The Prius Prime’s cockpit features more amenities with standard heated front seats and automatic climate control system. The dashboard features a centrally-mounted gauge panel with multi-information displays that can be adjusted from steering wheel controls.

Standard safety features of the new Prius Prime include eight supplemental restraint system air bags, including multi-stage driver and front passenger front and side air bags; a driver knee air bag; and front passenger-seat cushion air bag.

The Prime is loaded with optional technology, such as an 11.6-in. multimedia display with navigation. An array of advanced safety systems also are available, including the Toyota Safety Sense P safety suite that bundles a pre-collision system, automatic braking, lane-departure alert, and dynamic cruise control with other technologies.

The Prius Prime features Toyota’s dual-motor generator drive system that uses both the electric motor and the generator for drive force to boost acceleration, Toyota says. Regenerative braking recaptures energy and stores it in the battery, which helps reduce fuel consumption. Another plus: the Prime uses ordinary charging equipment. Toyota supplies a cord for charging from a standard outlet in 5.5 hours. With a 240-volt source, charging takes less than 3 hours, Toyota claims.

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