Toyota’s legendary Prius is back with a new look that helps usher the Hybrid into a sleek new age of EV design.
While the new Prius Prime, unveiled this week in Japan, still retains the hybrid’s iconic ‘wedge shape’, it also embraces curves, sporting rounded ‘modern lines’ and eliminating some of the Prius’ distinctive hard angles -Past .
The visual makeover not only gives the hybrid a new, more contemporary look, but also makes the 2023 Prius more aerodynamic, helps improve fuel efficiency and offers a significant upgrade for buyers in the petrol/electric hybrid market.
what’s new — Though the 2023 Prius Prime is still a hybrid, Toyota hopes drivers will be able to complete most of their daily commute using the car’s battery rather than the internal combustion engine.
To help the 2023 Prius stay competitive with dedicated electric vehicles, the automaker says its battery mode has 50 percent more range than the previous generation. That would equate to about 37 miles on a charge, as opposed to the previous Prius Prime’s 25 miles. At the heart of this range is a 13.6 kWh lithium-ion battery that Toyota installed under the car’s rear seat for a lower center of gravity.
That range is obviously nowhere near what a standard fully electric vehicle would achieve on a single charge (the median is around 230 miles on a full charge), but is likely enough for most to skate through errands and possibly even to the work to commute one way.
Inside, the driver’s console is built around a seven-inch TFT LCD screen. No great design flourishes here (especially compared to a world where the Mercedes-Benz hyperscreen exists). Toyota says it’s tried to design its car screens to be less profile and less distracting; a welcome venture for those who find large car displays dangerously distracting.
The future? — It’s nice to see that one of the biggest transitions to fully electric vehicles is still thriving, though perhaps a little disappointing from an eco-friendly perspective. It’s hard to get excited about internal combustion engines when a bevy of versatile electric cars already exist or are about to hit the market.
It doesn’t help that Toyota has tried and (somewhat disastrously) failed to bring its own fully-fledged electric vehicles to market.
However, given the still inadequate state of EV charging infrastructure, there is still a place for hybrid vehicles.; Toyota probably knows, and that might be why it’s still plowing forward with the Prius as a hybrid.
With federal investment in charging infrastructure in the pipeline, subsidies for electric vehicles, and a general upheaval in legacy automakers that used to specialize in gas-powered cars, it wouldn’t be surprising if the 2023 Prius Prime was Toyota’s best and also its last.
Price and release date — There are no official prices for the 2023 Prius Prime, but predictions hover around the $27,000 mark. The hybrid will be released “later this year”.