It’s been a hot minute since we last heard from Toyota regarding their evergreen (and ever green) Prius hybrid car. Debuting in 1997, the Prius was the pioneer in introducting environmentally-friendly petrol-electric hybrid vehicles to the world.
Fast forward 25 years, five generations, and 5.05 million sold units later, and we now have this: the all-new 2023 Toyota Prius. Making its world premiere online today, two examples of the sleek latest model were presented on stage next to Simon Humphries, Senior General Manager, Design Field, Vehicle Development Center at Toyota.
The fifth-generation Prius sports unexpectedly seductive looks, more in line with an experimental concept vehicle than a mass-production one. The coupe-like silhouette is a departure from the outgoing generation, which was best described as being polarising.
Its front fascia (which Toyota states is inspired by a hammerhead shark) now resembles its bZ4X cousin, with sleek tapered headlights that almost meet in the middle, flanking a very minimalist-looking grille.
While the Prius retains its signature aerodynamic fastback form, the sheet metal is now cleaner, with fewer creases to disrupt the side panels. A single sharp line instead cuts across the lower half of both doors, breaking the monotony of the sides. The rear fascia, too, has been redesigned and now features a single light bar, with the "Prius" letterings laid out throughout the entire bootlid.
The side profile looks a lot sportier now, partly thanks to the larger 19-inch wheels that come as standard, and the lower ride height.
Better, Faster, Stronger
The all-new Prius sits atop Toyota's second-generation TNGA platform, ensuring better driving dynamics than ever before. MacPherson struts are used up front, while double-wishbones are utilised at the back, all in a bid to improve driving responsiveness and overall ride quality.
Two powertrains will be offered: a plug-in hybrid and a series parallel hybrid. The former is mated to a 2.0-litre engine, producing a maximum output of 220 bhp, all while maintaining the same level of fuel efficiency as its predecessor. Its EV driving range is also now 50% more than the outgoing model.
It also completes a century sprint in just 6.7 seconds, an impressive figure for a supposedly eco-friendly commuter car.
The series parallel hybrid comes with two engine options – a 1.8-litre or 2.0-litre powerplant. The 2.0-litre version produces a combined output of 190 bhp, which is approximately 1.6 times higher than the model it succeeds.
It will also come with the Toyota Safety Sense suite of active safety features, along with Toyota Teammate, the latter of which includes Advanced Park. This means that the Prius is able to park automatically and exit from the lot in a variety of situations.
Owners will also be able to control the car remotely while outside of it, allowing it to enter and exit a parking space without driver involvement.
The spacious interior has also been redesigned to improve driver engagement while reducing stress, through its "island architecture" concept. The upholstery will come in black tones primarily, with coordinated instrument panel and seat stitching finishes.
Equipped are also two 100 VAC / 1,500 W accessory power outlets, with one at the back of the center console and the other in the cargo space.
When the BEV external power supply mode is selected, power can be drawn from the battery without having to start the engine. Alternatively, HEV external power supply mode can be enabled, which allows the battery to be recharged from the engine if the remaining power is too low.
An external electric power supply attachment (pictured above) also comes as standard, making external power supply possible even with the door windows closed. This is to prevent rain and insects from getting into the car when in use.
Eight body colours will be made available, including two newly-developed solid base colors (Ash and Mustard) which convey sporty impressions.
The new Prius also comes with a panoramic view moonroof which can be fully opened, while PHEV variants are equipped with a second-generation solar charging system that generates the power equivalent of driving up to 1,250 km per year.
Availability and pricing details are still undisclosed at the time of publication.
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