This week, Toyota surprised a lot of onlookers with a sleeker redesign for the Prius. It turns out that the plug-in hybrid Prius Prime will also have a new appearance and some other improvements in 2023. For starters, Toyota claims that a larger lithium-ion battery will increase the previous model’s 25-mile electric vehicle range by more than 50%. (i.e. to at least 37.5 miles). As a result, you’ll be able to travel farther before running out of gas.
The solar roof is another cool feature. When the Prius Prime is parked, these panels can recharge the battery. To reduce the strain on the lithium-ion battery while you’re driving, the solar roof can supply auxiliary power to devices like the air conditioner. To keep the plug-in hybrid’s clean appearance, Toyota continues by saying that the electrodes on the solar panels are hidden. The company stated that one goal with Prius Prime was to give it a similar ethos to the new Prius hybrid vehicle, but with a little extra – more performance, technology, safety, and even a little attitude.
According to Toyota, the 2023 model is lighter and more solid than earlier iterations, with a low center of gravity and greater room for luggage. In comparison to the preceding Prius Prime, the car is two inches lower, an inch broader, an inch longer, and its hip point is almost an inch lower as well.
Toyota claims that the 2.0-liter engine and fifth-generation hybrid powertrain work together to produce 220 horsepower, an increase of almost 100 horsepower over the previous generation. It appears that the car can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds as well.
As with the base Prius, the Prius Prime supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Toyota’s Intelligent Assistant enables you to search for directions, tweak audio settings, change cabin temperatures, and more with voice commands. To help you figure out how to get to where you’re going, the Cloud Navigation system uses the latest available map, traffic, and routing information. Alternatively, you can get some help from a live agent via Destination Assist.
Other features include a JBL Premium Audio system with eight speakers and six USB-C ports. A digital key system is available on some trims as part of the Remote Connect service, enabling you to lock and unlock doors, start the engine, and more with your phone.
Elsewhere, the Prius Prime comes with Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert as standard on all trims. Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking is available as an option on SE variants and as standard on the XSE and XSE Premium grades. Those who opt for the XSE Premium trim will have the option to use a Panoramic View Monitor feature that allows for a live rotating 360-degree view around the vehicle, as well as a hands-free system that can help with parallel parking and reversing into a parking space.
Although Toyota will announce pricing and availability for the base Prius by the end of the year, you’ll need to wait longer to find out that info for the Prius Prime. The company says it will reveal pricing and the on-sale date for the plug-in hybrid in the first half of 2023.
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