[PHOTOS] Toyota Introduces Prius Prime at New York Auto Show
The New York International Auto Show kicked off its first press day today, with automaker Toyota claiming the first press conference spot—a time when journalists were presumably still excited and satisfied from their free bagels and coffee. This spot is a tough one to fill unless you’re bringing something pretty awesome; but, luckily, Toyota had the ideal vehicle in mind to wow the audience—the Prius Prime.
According to Toyota Group VP Bill Fay, the “Prime” name (not to be confused with Amazon Prime) is meant to signify that the Prius Prime is the best vehicle in the plug-in hybrid segment. It certainly sounds better than the previous generation’s not-so-clever name of Prius Plug-in. Definite points there for Toyota.
And now onto the actual specifications of the car. Toyota has doubled the Prime’s previous electric range. This sounds impressive, but in reality the plug-in has gone from an electric range of 11 miles to 22 miles. As Fay points out, this is enough to get more than 50% of Americans to work and back home without having to tap into the gasoline reserves. For those with the ability to charge their cars while at work, that number increases to 80%. So, the number that sounds pretty weak at first is actually fairly impressive.
The 2017 Prius Prime shares many of its characteristics with the fourth-generation 2016 Prius, including its sporty styling and its engine. The Prime adds plenty of features not available in the base Prius, though, including heated front seats, automatic climate control, Toyota Safety Sense P, and more.
Efficiency-wise, Toyota estimates that the 2017 Prius Prime will return 120 MPGe and have a total driving range of 600 or more miles with a full tank of gas and a fully charged battery. Speaking of the battery, it’ll be able to be recharged in around 5 1/2 hours using a standard household electrical outlet—that time will cut in half if using a 220V source. That’s plenty of time to juice up your car overnight or during the work day, though any long-distance driving will be mostly in hybrid mode. Still, Toyota says that the Prius Prime will get equal or higher mpg ratings to the 2016 Prius hybrid.
Best of all, the Prius Prime will be sold in all 50 states when it’s released later this year, helping expand plug-in hybrid technology to more drivers than ever before.
As Bill Fay so eloquently puts it… “It’s Prime time all across the nation!” Good one, Bill. Good one.
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- Cat HilesManaging Editor
Catherine Hiles is a native Brit currently based in Dayton, Ohio. Don't ask how that happened. Cat has written about a variety of subjects, from dog training to fashion, and counts running and cooking among her hobbies. Cat lives with her husband, Ben; their daughter, Rose; and their collection of animals, including an energetic mutt, an elderly basset hound, and a jerk cat. See more articles by Cat.