Published on March 23rd, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Tech & Style Maxed Out In Newly Introduced 2017 Toyota Prius Prime
We first informed you of something ‘Prius-ish’ from Toyota that will appear at the 2016 New York International Auto Show; and turns out that the official name is Prius Prime. “Prime” means best, making it the perfect name for one of the most technologically advanced, best-equipped Prius in the model’s history to say the least.
The 2017 Prius Prime combines an electrifying design with an even more capable electric powertrain than the previous-generation Prius Plug-in Hybrid. The Prius Prime is expected to offer an estimated two times the electric range of the previous model – just over 35 km – meeting the daily commuter distance of over half of American drivers, and drive at speeds up to 135 kmh without leaving EV (electric vehicle) mode.
With its estimated 120 or above MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent), the Prius Prime is expected to be the highest MPGe rating of any Plug-in Hybrid.
The new-generation Prius Prime is 2.4 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider and about an inch lower than its predecessor. The front is fitted with quad LED lights while the LED rear combination lamps leave an unforgettable night-time signature.
While giving the new-generation Prius models more features, Toyota kept vehicle weight in check by using aluminium for the hood, carbon fibre on the rear hatch, and by using high-tensile strength steel in other parts of the structure. In fact, the lightweight carbon fibre rear hatch makes opening and closing almost effortless.
The drive force
The Prius Prime will allow drivers to stay in EV mode in more situations, helping to enhance vehicle range on one tank of fuel. You can plug it in, gas it up, or both. On one 11.3-gallon tank of regular-grade petrol and a full electric charge, the 2017 Prius Prime anticipates a class-leading estimated total driving range of over 966 km (Toyota recommends making occasional stops to refuel and recharge yourself and passengers).
The Prime’s Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive is the same as the standard Prius which seamlessly combines the output of the regular petrol engine and electric motor through a planetary-type continuously variable transmission. The biggest difference is that the Prius Prime can be plugged in at home to recharge its larger 8.8kWh battery pack.
Also, The Prius Prime will also feature a Toyota-first dual motor generator drive system, using both the electric motor and the generator for drive force, helping to boost acceleration performance.
Even better, there’s no special equipment for home charging. Just use the supplied cord and the Prius Prime takes approximately 5.5 hours using a standard household outlet. Charging takes less than half the time with a 240V source.
Creature comfort & safety
Tech features include an 11.6-inch, HD central multimedia screen with standard navigation and available full colour head-up display. “Prime” also describes the vehicle’s available advanced safety technology, Toyota Safety Sense. This multi-feature advanced active safety suite, bundles the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection and Automatic Braking; Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist; Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with full stop technology and Automatic High Beams.
All 2017 Prius hybrid models come standard with eight supplemental restraint system airbags, including multi-stage driver and front passenger front airbags; driver and front passenger side airbags; full-length curtain airbags; a driver knee airbag, and a front passenger seat cushion airbag.
Also available with the Prius Prime is the Available Intelligent Parking Assist (IPA) that uses ultrasonic wave sensors to size up a parallel parking space and then, when activated by the driver, can steer the car into it. The system can also reverse the Prius Prime into perpendicular spaces and automatically steer it out of a parallel space.
The 2017 Prius Prime will begin arriving in Toyota showrooms (in selected markets, to tart with) in late fall.