Toyota's next-generation plug-in hybrid Prius, called the Prius Prime, improves fuel efficiency by 26% over the outgoing model with an estimated 120 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe), Toyota announced at the New York Auto Show.
The Prius Prime increases battery capacity with a 8.8 kilowatt-per-hour lithium-ion battery pack compared to the 4.4 kilowatt-per-hour battery pack of the outgoing Prius Plug-In.
The vehicle gets the 1.8L Atkinson-cycle, 4-cylinder engine found in other 2016 Prius models with an 11.3-gallon gasoline tank. The Prius Prime is expected to offer an electric range two times better than the 2016 model and can drive at speeds of 84 mph without switching from EV mode.
Both the standard Prius hybrid and the Prius Prime are powered by Toyota’s hybrid synergy drive powertrain, which seamlessly combines the output of the gasoline engine and electric motor through a planetary-type continuously variable transmission.
The Prius will feature a Toyota-first dual motor generator drive system, using both the electric motor and the generator for drive force, helping to boost acceleration performance. Regenerative braking recaptures electrical energy under deceleration and braking and stores it in the battery, which helps to reduce fuel consumption.
The Prius Prime will offer tech features, including an available 11.6-inch, HD central multimedia screen with standard navigation, and available full color head-up display. The vehicle will come equipped with the automaker's Entune multimedia system and Prius Prime mobile apps that allow the driver to manage charging schedule and status, locate charging stations, track and compare the driver's eco driving score, and remotely control the vehicle's climate system.
Toyota will also offer Toyota Safety Sense, an affordable safety suite that bundles a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection and automatic braking; lane departure alert with steering assist; full-speed dynamic radar cruise control with full stop technology and automatic high beams. Blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, and intelligent parking assist (IPA) are also available.
The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime will arrive to the automaker's showrooms in late fall.