Toyota has revealed an all-new Prius for 2023 and not only does this fifth-generation model look a heck of a lot more handsome than the old one, it's also going plug-in hybrid only.
No all-electric Prius?
Does that mean that there won't be an all-electric Prius at some stage? That's not clear yet. Toyota says that it "is committed to carbon neutrality, and the hybrid technology originally pioneered by the Prius continues to contribute significantly to the transition towards zero emissions. The new Plug-in Prius strengthens Toyota's multi-technology line-up, which also includes battery electric (BEV) and fuel cell electric (FCEV) solutions, by delivering increased efficiency and accessible carbon reduction." We'll put that down as a 'maybe.'
The new Prius comes with a 2.0-litre hybrid powertrain developing up to 223hp thanks to a larger, more powerful electric motor than before. That's a whopping 100hp increase over the current Prius, of which 148hp is contributed by the petrol engine. A 13.6kWh lithium-ion battery extends the Prius electric range compared to the outgoing model, with up to 72 kilometres achievable on the WLTP cycle - depending on which alloy wheels are fitted. Given how well Toyota's other current PHEV model, the larger and heavier RAV4, performs, we're expecting big things from this one.
Solar panel on the roof
You might not even have to plug it in all that much - there's an optional solar panel on the roof that Toyota says can add enough charge for more than 1,000km of EV driving in a year, assuming you live somewhere sunny (which we guess means 'not Ireland').
Lower, shorter, wider
The styling - very seventies-wedge - means that the new Prius is some 50mm lower than before, 22mm wider and 46mm shorter. The wheelbase has been extended by 50mm though, so expect improved cabin space. The styling, a major departure from the heavily-accented look of the outgoing model, is said to be much more aerodynamically efficient thanks to its lack of creases and lines.
Inside, the dash layout is an evolution of the current car's with a large touchscreen in the centre of the dash, and a smaller instrument panel in front of the driver. There's also an LED ambient lighting system that, like Volkswagen's IQ light, flashes safety warnings to the driver if needed.
The new Prius will go on sale across Europe in early 2023 but Irish sales, prices and specifications have not yet been confirmed.