The Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid is set to make a return in 2023 with a new design and increased power, but it is currently unknown whether it will arrive on UK roads.
Built on the same foundations as its predecessor that was removed from sale in the UK this year, Toyota says that this new fifth-generation model is almost twice as powerful as the outgoing model. The car is powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine paired with a 14kWh battery and an electric motor mounted to the front axle, providing a total output of 223hp.
The manufacturer is yet to give a figure for the new liftback’s all-electric range, but says it can travel twice as far in EV mode than the previous model. Small solar panels can also be fitted to the roof for an additional fee, which increases its electric-only range.
The new model inherits the sloping ‘wedge’-shaped silhouette synonymous with the Prius range, but the brand says it has made the car slightly wider, and lowered its height by 5cm. The car’s wheelbase (distance from front tyres to rear tyres) is 5cm longer too, and the new Prius sits on larger 19-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, Toyota has lowered the driving position to give the latest Prius a ‘sportier feel’ and has redesigned the dashboard to improve driver visibility and make things a bit more user-friendly.
The new dashboard looks quite similar to the layout unveiled on the new Toyota bZ4X SUV. A larger infotainment screen juts out of the centre of the dashboard, and a seven-inch digital instrument cluster sits behind the steering wheel – replacing the old driving information screen that stretched across the centre of the dashboard on the old model.
The central screen is illuminated, and this backlighting changes colour when alerting the driver of safety hazards.
That sums up what we know about the new Toyota Prius at this stage. The manufacturer says that the model will arrive in Europe in Spring next year, but has not disclosed whether it will join its UK range as of yet. More details will be announced next month after the car’s official motor show debut.
Its predecessor received a rather mixed bag of reviews from the British media – commended for its fuel efficiency and safety features, but criticised for slow infotainment system and mediocre performance. Now off sale, the fourth-generation Prius plug-in hybrid holds an Expert Rating of 61%.
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