Our hunch about the new Prius derivative turned out to be true as the 2017 Prime is indeed the plug-in hybrid model. There’s more to the car than just an extra fuel cap as the Prime also has a different design, with a Mirai-inspired front fascia featuring quad LED headlights which according to Toyota “glow like diamonds.” The rear end has also gone through some serious cosmetic surgery, as the LED taillights have been reshaped and are interconnected.
Compared to the model it replaces, the new Prius Prime is 2.4 inches longer and 0.6 inches lower, while the ride height has been reduced by around one inch. More importantly, the electric range now stands at an estimated 35 kilometers (22 miles) which is two times more than the old model. In EV mode, the Prius Prime will be able to hit a maximum speed of 84 mph (135 kph).
When running in hybrid mode, the 2017 Prius Mode will be able to return a Toyota-estimated 120+ MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent), an improvement of 26% compared to its predecessor. Fill up the 11.3-gallon tank and the 8.8-kWh battery pack, the car is going to provide a combined range of more than 600 miles (965 kilometers). Once the battery is depleted, it takes five and a half hours to recharge it from a regular household outlet or less than half that time when hooked up to a 240V power source.
Toyota says the 2017 Prime is slated to hit dealerships towards the end of this fall.