Based on the all-new 2016 Prius, which arrived in Australia earlier this month, the Prime follows the lead of its ‘regular’ sibling with improvements to economy and its ‘green’ credentials.
The electric-only driving range has improved, and the top speed using battery power alone is now higher at135 km/h.
There’s also more power from the petrol-electric hybrid powerplant, and a larger 8.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Like the regular Prius, the new PHEV model has been tuned to use battery power over petrol power more often when compared to its predecessor.
And that all-important fuel figure? That’s now rated at 1.4 l/100km, which betters the hybrid model by 2.0 l/100km.
Emissions are down to 32 g/km, while the maximum emission-free range has increased to 35km.
The Prime gets a slightly modified exterior look over the Prius, including active grille shutters to reduce drag and improve efficiency.
There’s also a ‘quad’ design for the LED headlamps, new fog lamps and new LED daytime running lamps, while the rear gets LED tail lamps in an oval shape surrounding almost the entire rear winglet.
The interior is virtually a mirror of the hybrid Prius, although slight variations exist with an 11.6-inch infotainment screen, but the wireless mobile phone-charging pad still takes pride of place at the front of the centre console.
The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime will arrive in US showrooms later this year, but Toyota has already ruled out a Prius PHEV in Australia for the foreseeable future.
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