The fifth-generation Toyota Prius debuts in Europe hours ahead of the new model’s US premiere. We can’t be sure about US market specs or features yet, but this unveiling gives a hint of what to expect.
In Europe, the new Prius is only available as a plug-in hybrid. The powertrain includes a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a total system output of 220 horsepower. This is a 99-hp (74-kW) improvement over the current vehicle’s electrically assisted 1.8-liter four-pot that makes 121 hp (90 kW).
In Europe, the Prius Plug-in has a 13.6-kWh battery, compared to the previous model’s 8.8-kWh pack. The unit is under the rear seats. Toyota’s announcement says the range is “50 percent more than the current generation.” This would suggest a distance of 58.5 miles (94.15 km) from current calculations. A figure of 39 miles (63 km) in Great Britain.
The Prius Plug-in will be available with an optional solar roof panel. The announcement of the European market model did not mention whether the system would improve the vehicle’s driving range.
Aesthetically, the new Prius looks familiar but also has a fresh look. The design pushes the roof ridge back, giving the car a coupe-like appearance. Modified proportions include lowering the height by 1.969 inches (50 mm) and extending the wheelbase by the same amount. Overall length is a short 1.811 inches (46 mm). Width increases by 0.866 inches (22 mm).
Inside, the new Prius adopts the Island Architecture styling language with three areas: “Environment,” “Driver Module,” and “Floating Instrument Panel.” The look is similar to the layout of the bZ4X crossover as the gauge display sticks to the dashboard instead of being shrouded around it like most modern vehicles.
The center stack contains an infotainment display that protrudes from the dash. The only physical control appears to be a knob in the lower right corner of the screen.
A pair of thin vents separate the infotainment screen from the HVAC controls. It has buttons to control the seat temperature and adjust the cabin temperature.
After this European debut, we expect to see specs for the US-spec model very soon.