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Toyota Is Bringing a Glammed Up Prius to Market

Just six months after unveiling the next-generation 2016 Prius, Toyota has introduced another version of the iconic hybrid.

Prius Prime, which was revealed Wednesday at the New York International Auto Show, is a glammed up, more efficient plug-in version of its predecessor. It has a little bit more of everything, including tech, battery range, and special features.

The Prius Prime has 22 miles of electric range—putting it behind GM’s 2017 Chevy Volt and Hyundai’s Ioniq plug-in hybrid—and an estimated 120 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe). The battery and MPGe combined with an 11.3-gallon tank brings the total gas and electric driving range to more than 600 miles, Toyota boasts.

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“With the Prius Prime’s 22 miles of electric range, over 50% of Americans could get to work and back home, without using a drop of gas. And for those drivers that can charge at work that number jumps to almost 80%.,” touted Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager of Toyota’s U.S-based division, during the vehicle’s debut at the New York Auto Show.

When EV mode is selected on the Prius Prime, the car is only powered by the battery, and the driver should be able to reach speeds up to 84 miles per hour.

The Prius Prime also sports energy-conserving quad LED headlights and a 11.6-inch HD tablet touchscreen (pictured below) inside, giving the owner control over the multimedia system, climate control, and other features. The car is loaded with a suite of apps that lets the owner remotely manage the vehicle’s charging schedule and status, locate charging stations, track and compare their eco driving score with others on social media, and remotely control the vehicle’s climate system from a smartphone.


Did Toyota make a worthy contender to the Model S?

Last September, Toyota introduced the 2016 Prius, a next-generation hybrid loaded with tech, a more energy-dense battery, parking assist feature, vehicle-to-vehicle communications system, and even a four-wheel-drive option. This was an important update for the Prius, the first since 2009. Prius sales spiked 73% between 2011 and 2012. The following year, sales plateaued and fell about 1%, before dropping 11.5% in 2014.

The Prius Prime expands on these improvements.

The biggest difference between the two, as Toyota notes, is that Prius Prime has a plug that allows owners to recharge the 8.8kWh battery pack in 5.5 hours via a standard outlet or half that time if its plugged into a 240v outlet.

Still, the regular Prius hybrid and Prius Prime each have the same powertrain.