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Brand New Toyota Prius

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Mike Stevens | Aug 15, 2011

The next stage in Toyota's Prius programme will make its production debut at Frankfurt next month: the 2012 Prius Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV).

The Prius PHEV will on sale in Europe early next year, after finalising months of testing around the world - including Victoria's Electric Vehicle Trial. The outcome of these tests is expected to be assessed by Toyota in considering a local Prius PHEV launch.

"The new Prius Plug-in Hybrid offers drivers the best of both worlds; extended EV driving range for shorter journeys in towns and cities, while the efficient hybrid petrol engine gives the car uncompromised long range capability and the very low fuel consumption of the standard Prius," a Toyota statement reads.

Power for the Prius Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle is provided by the same 1.8 litre petrol engine and electric motor arrangement as the regular Prius.

toyota prius phev 01.jpg

With the addition of a lithium-ion battery and more than a few tweaks however, it can drive on electric power alone for a range of around 20 kilometres.

A full charge of the PHEV's battery pack can be achieved in around three hours via regular house power, and in less than 90 minutes with a specialised rapid charger.

The all-important fuel consumption figures are listed at an impressive 2.2 l/100km - down from the regular Prius' 3.9 l/100km.

While an Australian debut for the Prius PHEV remains uncertain, the Japanese carmaker's local Prius family will grow in 2012 with the addition of the Prius V people mover and the small Prius C city car.

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