Toyota isn’t giving up on its iconic Prius nameplate, just yet. On Wednesday night, ahead of the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show, an all-new and drastically different-looking 2023 Prius Hybrid and a plug-in hybrid Prius Prime were unveiled at City Market Social House in California.
“We want to build as many hybrids as we can because the goal is carbon reduction,” David Christ, group vice president and general manager of Toyota Motor Sales USA, said in a personal interview before the presentations. “Since we started Prius 25 years ago, we have sold 5.5 million hybrids in the US, 20 million globally, and that has resulted in 82 million tons of CO2 emissions being reduced, that’s the equivalent of 5.5 million all-electric EVs. .”
Toyota is relying on a number of solutions, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and all-electric vehicles, to cut emissions and reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. But Toyota has been criticized by some. for not developing all-electric vehicles faster.
“I would say that we are really trying to improve and move towards carbon neutrality more than we are putting all our efforts into a solution,” he said. “We started this effort to reduce carbon in 1997 with Prius and we truly believe that the industry’s goal should be carbon reduction, not how fast we can sell how many BEVs. BEVs are great for many customers, but they may not be great for all customers.”
When the original Prius was released, it was the world’s first production hybrid car, combining an electric motor with a small, highly efficient motor. And it was a home run. Hollywood celebs like Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz jumped on the Prius bandwagon, making it cool to go green. However, it has recently faced increasing competition from other Toyota hybrids, including the RAV4 hybrid and Corolla Cross hybrid, and other automakers. The Prius hasn’t been redesigned since 2015, which is long in the life cycle of a car. Many cars see a facelift every four or five years. But this 2023 Prius Hybrid makes up for lost time with a drastically different design language, more technology, and improved fuel economy.
Designed in Japan, the new Prius is great again. No longer extravagant with odd angles and shapes, it’s sleek, sophisticated and striking with streamlined lines that flow along its body. Built on a new platform, dubbed the second generation TNGA-C, it is slightly lower and wider than the previous generation.
Under the hood is the fifth-generation hybrid powertrain along with a larger two-liter gasoline engine and a newly developed lithium-ion battery, tucked under the rear seat so it doesn’t take up cargo space. The battery offers a 15 percent increase in output compared to the previous generation nickel-metal battery, reducing size and weight. All-wheel drive will be standard in Canada.
Technology takes center stage inside with over-the-air updates, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Smart Assistant, which lets you use voice commands like “Hello Toyota” to find directions, adjust audio controls or change the temperature of your car. the cabin. As for safety, it has the latest Toyota Safety Sense, or TSS 3.0, with a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection that can now detect motorcyclists as well as cyclists and pedestrians, lane departure alert with power steering, and dynamic range radar. full speed Cruise control is standard.
Alongside the Prius was the Prius Prime plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. For 2023, it gets a larger lithium-ion battery that increases its electric range by more than 50 percent from the previous range of 25 miles. Plus, it gets nearly 100 more horsepower at 220 with an acceleration time to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds. It also adds a sunroof, an onboard charging feature that uses roof-mounted solar panels to recharge the Prius Prime’s battery when it’s parked. The panels provide additional power to accessory functions such as air conditioning while driving and also use a clever design that hides the electrodes for a seamless appearance.
Toyota also unveiled an impressive all-electric vehicle, the bZ compact SUV concept with a technologically-smart cabin made from eco-friendly and sustainable materials and a rectangular-shaped steering wheel.
The price of the Prius and the date it will go on sale will be announced later this year; Prius Prime pricing and on-sale dates will follow in the first half of 2023.
The writer was a guest of the car manufacturer. The content was not subject to approval.
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