Toyota Prius 2023: What makes this new plug-in hybrid car talk of the town
- The new Toyota Prius comes with significantly updated design, features and advanced technologies that make it more appealing than before.
Toyota has again fuelled the discussion around the hybrid cars at a time when the hybrids are losing the lustre to their battery-electric powered counterparts. The latest iteration of the car comes revamping the appeal of the Toyota Prius, which normalised the idea of owning an environmentally conscious, greener powertrain-equipped personal vehicle more than two decades ago. The car garnered so much attention over the past two decades that many celebrities became the proud owner of this model. One of them was Leonardo de Caprio. Owning it was cool, even considered a status symbol for many. The Toyota Prius reduced the number of trips to refuelling stations for its owners, which became self-explanatory behind its popularity.
Over the past two decades, Toyota has introduced the plug-in hybrid powertrain to its several other cars. However, the popularity of the Toyota Prius remained static despite increased competition in-house and outside. The fifth-generation Toyota Prius has just been unveiled in Japan, just before launching it in the North American market. Toyota tried to boost the appeal of this car by tagging it as a ‘Hybrid Reborn’. Also, the automaker claimed that the new Toyota Prius comes as a sportier model. With the new Prius, Toyota has overhauled its most famous hybrid model.
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A stylish and sporty design
The fifth-generation Toyota Prius comes with a host of changes on the exterior and inside the cabin, as compared to its predecessor. The car has been built on the monoform silhouette of its predecessors but comes with a longer wheelbase, lower centre of gravity, and larger 19-inch wheels as standard. The design of the new Prius shares similarities to Toyota's range of new Crown models, especially when it comes to the front profile with dramatic LED headlamps. The full-width LED light bar at the rear is another design element that is impossible to ignore.
Radically different cabin
The interior of the new Toyota Prius is a radical departure from previous Prius models. The centre of attraction inside the cabin on the dashboard is the 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display, while a digital instrument cluster is also there. The dashboard's shape is completely new, and it incorporates a warning technology that will alert the driver to detected objects by flashing the ambient lights. The cabin appears simplistic with a minimalist yet feature-packed look.
Second-generation TNGA platform
The new generation Toyota Prius is claimed to have been underpinned by the second-generation TNGA platform. It sports MacPherson struts at the front and a double wishbone setup at the rear. The suspension setup and this second-generation TNGA platform are claimed to be more rigid than the platform used in the outgoing model. Toyota also claims that the new platform ensures improved responsiveness during cornering and better stability for straight-line driving.
Host of safety features
The new-gen Toyota Prius comes with a host of safety features. These safety features include the latest iteration of Toyota Safety Sense that bundles a monocular camera at the front, a rear-facing camera for the Digital Inner Mirror, and an in-vehicle drive recorder. The safety package also gets the Toyota Teammate system as standard. It also features Advanced Park with a remote function, which allows the hybrid car to be controlled remotely while pulling into and out of a parking space.
The automaker has announced two different powertrains in Japan. The first combines a 2.0-litre Dynamic Force four-cylinder engine with an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. This powertrain is capable of churning out 220 hp of peak power. Toyota claims that this powertrain has 50 per cent more EV driving range than the previous model. The second hybrid powertrain comes employing the automaker's Series Parallel Hybrid system. It is available in 1.8-litre and 2.0-litre engines and is capable of producing as much as 193 hp of peak power. It also gets the automaker's E-Four all-wheel drive system that ensures better performance on low-friction road surfaces and greater stability during cornering. The new Toyota Prius also comes with two 1,500W accessory power outlets. It can be charged using two different modes: BEV external power supply mode and HEV external power supply mode.