The production version of the new Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid has been unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show.
The first plug-in version of the Prius uses Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system, combining an electric motor for short distances and low speeds with a small petrol engine to provide flexibility and range.
The Prius Plug-in Hybrid features a more compact lithium-ion battery which is claimed to help achieve fuel efficiency of 128.4mpg. The new technology also reduces CO2 emissions to 49g/km –almost half that of the standard Prius.
The 1420kg car - some 50kg heavier than standard - produces a a total HSD system power output of 134bhp, enabling it to hit 62mph from standing in 10.7sec and on to a top speed of 112mph.
Toyota says the new model has, “extended EV driving range for shorter journeys in towns and cities, while the efficient hybrid petrol engine gives the car uncompromised long range capability and the very low fuel consumption of the standard Prius.”
Three switchable driving modes are available - HV, EV and EV-City - the first of which functions as a standard Prius, engaging the petrol engine when needed.
In EV mode, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid can be driven electrically for up to approximately 14.5 miles at speeds of up to 53mph. EV-City mode matches the EV mode’s characteristics. "Increased electric operation is ensured by allowing more forceful use of the throttle before the petrol engine kicks in," according to Totota.
This new plug-in model will become the flagship model in the Prius range. It joins a host of other efficient Toyota vehicles including the Auris hybrid, the new seven-seat Prius+ and the new Yaris hybrid.
The first plug-in version of the Prius will go on sale in Autumn 2012 and will cost around £30,000. The Prius Plug-in qualifies for the Government’s incentive payment of £5000 for plug-in electric vehicles, so the on-the-road price will be closer to £25,000.