A Toyota Prius with such a successful design has never been seen before. Efficient yes, technological as well. But “beautiful” really not, she had never been. Instead, the arrival of the new generation of the Japanese, the fifth, coincides with an unexpected and pleasant aesthetic revolution, which winks at the reasons of aerodynamics. And which coincides with a work to improve the efficiency of the project which makes this Prius the greenest ever.
The iconic wedge shape remains, but it has been reinterpreted to be more elegant and, at the same time, sporty: thanks to an overall height that drops by a good 50 mm and a simplification work that has given the green light to superfluous stylistic elements . The wheelbase lengthens by 50mm over the previous generation, while the overall length drops by 46mm. Lastly, the make-up benefits from a 22 mm greater width and larger diameter wheels, up to 19 inches. In short, only the name remains of the previous Prius, or almost.
The model, a forerunner of hybrid technology – the Prius was the first to make use of it back in 1997 – wants to confirm itself as a champion of electrification: this is why in Europe it will be available exclusively in a plug-in configuration, i.e. with a 2-litre internal combustion engine petrol combined with an electric unit powered by high-capacity batteries, rechargeable from an external power outlet.
The system power is equal to 223 HP, a guarantee of an excellent starting point in acceleration. While driving pleasure benefits from the adoption of the second generation GA-C platform, a variant of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), characterized by reduced weight and increased torsional rigidity compared to the outgoing model. “Thanks to the optimized placement of the battery and the fuel tank, a lower center of gravity has been achieved,” for a driving experience unprecedented for a Prius.
Furthermore, the manufacturer ensures that most of the daily driving will take place in 100% electric mode, with a zero-emission range improved by 50% compared to the current generation thanks to the new 13.6 kWh lithium-ion battery. The revolution also affects the passenger compartment, characterized by a lower driving position: the instruments use a 7” TFT LCD screen installed at the top of the dashboard; while infotainment is based on a generous quadrangular panel that stands out in the center of the dashboard. The Prius will arrive in dealerships in the spring of 2023, with prices to be announced in the coming weeks.