Toyota has unveiled the fifth generation of the renowned Prius hybrid car, which will be available in Series Parallel Hybrid (HEV) vehicles by the end of December 2022 and Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) variants starting in the spring of 2023.
The Toyota Prius was the first hybrid vehicle to be mass-produced and was introduced in 1997. With the addition of an improved Series Parallel Hybrid System.
The model’s second generation debuted the Prius’ unique mono-form appearance and offered even higher fuel economy (THSII). The first mass-produced hybrid in history employs a second-generation TNGA platform and a fifth-generation hybrid technology in its most recent incarnation. The current model has about 50% longer EV driving range.
A bigger 1.8-liter engine and a more effective hybrid system were included in the third-generation Prius to improve both fuel economy and driving performance.
For the first time, the Prius’ fourth generation utilized the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform to give enhanced environmental efficiency and a modernised driving experience.
Since its first release as a next-generation eco-car with exceptional fuel efficiency 25 years ago, the Prius, whose Latin name means “to go before,” has been at the forefront of the growth of HEVs.
As of March 2022, there had been around 5.05 million Prius vehicles sold globally, which amounted to a decrease in CO2 emissions of at least 82 million tonnes.
Although the Prius was the first hybrid vehicle, today practically every model—from tiny cars to SUVs, minivans, and commercial vehicles—has a hybrid variant.
The newest Prius is marketed by Toyota as the Hybrid Reborn concept. According to the manufacturer, the development team chose to start again and consider what the Prius needed to do to be successful for the next 25 years.
After Japan, the new Prius will be introduced in North America, Europe, and other nations. Toyota has sold a total of 20.3 million hybrid vehicles worldwide since the Prius’s introduction in 1997, contributing to a 162 million tonne reduction in CO2 emissions.
The second-generation TNGA platform gives the fifth-generation Prius its low centre of gravity, wide 19-inch wheels, and distinctive monoform shape, which it inherited from the first-generation model.
The hammerhead shark-like front design strikes an excellent mix between practicality and aesthetics, while the rear design features horizontally expanding combo taillights on the left and right sides. The “island architecture” idea creates a roomy interior with black tones throughout and matched stitching on the instrument panel and seats.
Toyota’s first lighted warning system is included in the instrument panel. This new Toyota Safety Sense-linked element is integrated into the design in addition to providing ambient lighting that draws attention to the interior. To make driving more secure, it warns the driver of identified objects by flashing lights before issuing an auditory warning.
2.0L Plug-in Hybrid, 2.0-/ 1.8L Series Parallel Hybrid System
The first 2.0-liter Plug-in Hybrid System from Toyota is used to power the new Prius, which is said to offer much enhanced acceleration and quietness. The maximum system power of 164 kW (223 PS) is achieved by combining a high-efficiency Dynamic Force Engine with lithium-ion batteries for high output drive, while keeping the same degree of fuel efficiency as the previous generation.
It takes 6.7 seconds to sprint from 0 to 100 kph. The current model has about 50% longer EV driving range. This indicates that the new Prius can run on EV mode alone for the majority of everyday rides thanks to better battery performance. Additionally, it has a “My Room Mode” that enables customers to enjoy air conditioning and audio systems from an external power source by turning on the power switch while charging, further enhancing the comfort of the interior.
With the PHEV, the battery pack is put beneath the back seat rather than in the trunk, which lowers the centre of gravity and increases the amount of cargo space available in the new Prius. Together, these features offer a compromise between a dynamic driving experience and more usability.
This new Prius model uses the most recent Series Parallel Hybrid System. “It delivers pleasant acceleration and responsive driving in a car that behaves as expected while keeping the same degree of fuel efficiency as the previous generation,” claims Toyota. The 2.0-liter version’s maximum system output is 144 kW (193 PS), which is 1.6 times more than the output of the previous model.
Second-generation TNGA platform
In order to accomplish the thrilling styling and driving performance of the new Prius, the second-generation TNGA platform was designed as a continuous upgrade of the matured TNGA platform, enabling a lower centre of gravity and large-diameter tyres.
The stiffness and quietness have both enhanced throughout the body due to additional strengthening. The suspension system uses double wishbones at the back and MacPherson struts up front to provide stability for straight-line driving, responsiveness that complies with driver intentions in turns, and simple line-tracing capability. It provides an engaging driving experience when coupled with the most recent powertrains.
High on safety
The most cutting-edge safety and driving assistance features are included in the most recent Prius’ Toyota Safety Sense active safety package, just as in every other Toyota. The variety of items that may be detected has increased much more.
A cutting-edge driving assistance technology called Advanced Park (with the remote capability) is included with the new Prius. It allows for simple automated parking and departure from parking spots in a range of parking conditions. The automobile can also enter and exit parking spaces remotely when operated from outside the vehicle using a specialized smartphone app.
The new Prius has an in-car drive recorder, a rear-facing camera for the Digital Inner Mirror, and a monocular Toyota Safety Sense camera up front. There is no indication that the cameras and wiring were added later in this configuration.
To prevent data loss and other problems related to SD cards, as well as to handle critical camera data, the data is kept on the ECU. Two 100 VAC/1,500 W auxiliary power outlets are included with this model, one in the cargo area and one in the back of the centre console.
Users can choose between the HEV external power supply mode, which recharges the battery from the engine if the battery’s remaining power is too low, and the BEV external power supply option, which exclusively draws power from the battery without starting the engine.
Additionally, it has a connection for an external electric power source as standard so that you may use it while keeping the doors closed to keep rain and insects out of the car.