The fifth-generation Toyota Prius has just been unveiled in Japan, just before the launch of the North American variant.
With the new Prius, Toyota set about overhauling its best-known hybrid models, making it significantly more dynamic, roomier and far more visually appealing than its predecessors. It wants it to arouse enthusiasm in those who own it. Significant improvements have also been made to the plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
Toyota̵[ads1]7;s changes started with the exterior where the car builds on the monoform silhouette of its predecessors, but has a longer wheelbase, lower center of gravity and larger 19-inch wheels as standard. The design shares similarities with Toyota’s range of new Crown models, especially in the front where correspondingly dramatic LED headlights are featured. The full-width rear LED light bar is also impossible to ignore.
The background for the new Prius is Toyota’s second-generation TNGA platform. This platform features MacPherson struts at the front, a double wishbone setup at the rear, and is more rigid than the platform used in the outgoing model. Toyota also says that the second-generation TNGA platform results in improved cornering response and better stability for straight-line driving.
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Two powertrains have been announced in Japan. The first combines a 2.0-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder engine, an electric motor and lithium-ion batteries to deliver a combined 220 hp (164 kW). Toyota claims this variant has 50 percent more electric range than the previous model, but has yet to release a specific range number.
The second powertrain uses Toyota’s series parallel hybrid system available in 1.8-liter and 2.0-liter guises and produces as much as 193 hp (144 kW). This model also features the brand’s E-Four four-wheel drive system to provide better performance on low-friction road surfaces and greater cornering stability.
A number of safety features come with the 2023 Prius. This includes the latest version of Toyota Safety Sense which includes a front monocular camera, a rear-facing camera for the digital interior mirror and an in-vehicle driving recorder. The Toyota Teammate system also comes as standard and includes Advanced Park with a remote function, which allows the car to be controlled remotely when driving in and out of a parking space.
Toyota has also equipped the 2023 Prius with two 100 VAC / 1500 W accessory power outlets. Power can be drawn in one of two modes. The first, BEV external power supply mode, uses only power from the battery while HEV external power supply mode charges the battery from the engine if the remaining power gets too low.
The new Prius is also equipped with a solar charging system that generates enough power for up to 1,250 km (776 miles) of driving per year. Electric power generated while the vehicle is parked is used to charge the drive battery. The system also supplies power to the air conditioning and other functions.
The interior is also a radical departure from previous Prius models. A 12.3-inch infotainment screen takes pride of place on the dashboard, while a digital instrument cluster also features. The shape of the dashboard is also completely new and has a warning system that will alert the driver of objects by flashing the ambient lights.