Toyota can be considered a leader in hybrid vehicles and Prius is an example of its expertise. 2017 Toyota Prius Prime is the latest in the series of hybrid cars and while it is technologically very advanced, the car might not be for everyone if design was going to be a deciding factor.
Toyota has tried to bring in a styling change and what ended up happening is a sort of disconnection between the different parts of the car. It appears as if multiple designers were working on the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime at the same time without consulting each other and when the final design was made, it was taken right to the production line another sets of eyes looking over the designs.
While we and other critics may say that the design will stick out as a soar thumb, Toyota believes that’s what Prius is all about. “Prius drivers have long cherished the unique design of their vehicles, so Toyota took the concept even further with the Prius Prime”, says Toyota. Along the lines of unique design, the latest Prius Prime features some of the aspects such as the same silhouette as the standard Prius liftback models but gets a unique look with exclusive front and rear fascias, bumpers and lighting systems. Ultra-low profile LED headlights and the large acrylic grille that compliments the presence of the air intakes evoke a more advanced EV image. The design also draws a connection to the revolutionary Toyota Mirai hydrogen vehicle.
But if you look beyond the design and performance, technological advancements, and driving experience are some of the main factors that appeal to you, then 2017 Toyota Prius Prime will definitely tick the right boxes. 2017 Toyota Prius Prime represents the pinnacle of efficiency and technology for the new- generation Prius, with a new dual-motor hybrid powertrain with a remarkable 2017 EPA-estimated 133 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) – a substantial 26-per cent enhancement over its predecessor model. Further, the Prius Prime will have class-leading total drive range with a EPA-estimated 640 miles! And, Prius Prime will offer a EPA-estimated range of up to 25 miles up to 84 mph in EV mode, says Toyota.
Both the standard Prius hybrid and the Prius Prime are powered by Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain, which seamlessly combines the output of the gasoline engine and electric motor through a planetary-type continuously variable transmission. The biggest difference is that the Prius Prime can be plugged in to recharge its larger 8.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack – more than double that of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid it replaces.
To help make extended EV mode driving range possible using Hybrid Synergy Drive, Toyota modified the system. For the first time in a Toyota hybrid, the system uses a “dual motor drive.” Toyota didn’t add another motor, however. Rather, a new one-way clutch engages both the generator (MG1) and electric drive motor (MG2) for drive force, the first time MG1 has been used for that purpose. Regenerative braking recaptures electrical energy under deceleration and braking and stores it in the battery, which helps to reduce fuel consumption.
There’s no special equipment needed for home charging. Just plug the Prius Prime into a standard household outlet (Toyota recommends using a dedicated GFI 15A outlet) using the supplied cable. Charging using a standard household outlet takes less than five-and-a-half hours, or approximately two hours when using a public charger or other 240V source.
Not to be overshadowed by all the electrical action, the Prius Prime’s gasoline engine also plays a starring role in that efficiency. The 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle, 4-cylinder engine, used in all 2017 Prius liftback models, expects a groundbreaking 40-percent-plus thermal efficiency. Most modern automobile engines reach about 25-30 percent.
With the all-new Prius Prime loaded with active safety features, an array of comfort, convenience amenities, packed with advanced technology, and an ultra-efficient powertrain, one would expect pricing to take a giant leap skyward. Not so. When the Prius Prime goes on sale later this year, it will complete a great value story by carrying a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) that will range from $27,100 for the Prius Prime Plus grade, to $33,100 for the Prius Prime Advanced grade.