2017 Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid preview


At the 2016 New York Auto Show, Toyota added another variant to its lineup of fourth-generation Prius hybrids.

The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime is a replacement for the previous-generation Prius Plug-In Hybrid.

The new car uses essentially the same powertrain as the current Prius, but with an 8.8-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack under the rear seat.

DON'T MISS: 2017 Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid: 22-mile range, styling updates: Live photos and video

That will allow for an electric-only range of 22 miles, according to Toyota.

It's unclear whether a true electric driving mode can be locked in, but Toyota did say the Prius Prime can motor on electric power at speeds up to 84 mph.

The carmaker also claims the Prius Prime will achieve an efficiency rating of 120 MPGe or better, which would make it the most efficient plug-in hybrid currently available. (The 2016 Chevy Volt is rated at 106 MPGe.)

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

Enlarge Photo

It would even come close to matching the 124 MPGe of the all-electric BMW i3, the most energy-efficient car of any kind on sale right now.

Toyota also claims 52 mpg combined on gasoline power, and a total range of 600 miles with both a full tank and a fully-charged battery.

Speaking of charging, Toyota expects that task to take 5.5 hours with a 120-volt Level 1 AC source like a standard household outlet, or about half that time with a 240-volt Level 2 source.

ALSO SEE: 2016 Toyota Prius Prime: details on 120 MPGe plug-in hybrid, all-electric mode

In addition to its plug-in hybrid powertrain, the Prius Prime has markedly different styling than other Prius models.

Changes include a different front fascia, and horizontal LED taillights in place of the vertical units on other versions of the Prius.

On the inside, the Prime boasts a tablet-style display for infotainment and navigation functions, and the car can connect to smartphone apps to find charging stations.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime, 2016 New York Auto Show

2017 Toyota Prius Prime, 2016 New York Auto Show

Enlarge Photo

Available safety features include forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control.

Unlike many plug-in hybrids, the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime will be available in all 50 states.

MORE: Why Next Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Is So Important: CA Laws (Jun 2015)

It will arrive in showrooms beginning late this year, likely in November, and pricing will be announced closer to that time.

For more on the Prius Prime and other new-car debuts, head over to our New York Auto Show news page.

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