The new plug-in Prius PHV as it’s known in Japan was supposed to go on sale this fall, but the model’s launch has been delayed for unknown reasons. Toyota spokesman Kayo Doi told reporters in the Land of the Rising the company has decided to take its “time and more care before starting mass manufacturing.” As a consequence, the Prius PHV is now scheduled to go on sale in Japan in winter.

While the JDM version is being delayed by several months, the decision does not affect the launch of the U.S.-spec Prius Prime which is still on track for November. However, TheDetroitBureau has learned from a U.S. official of Toyota the 2017MY Prius Prime’s rollout will occur at a slower pace than initially planned. Toyota has previously said it wants to sell around 60,000 units of the plug-in Prius each year and estimates about half of the sales will come from North America. However, in light of the production delay in Japan, it’s unclear whether Toyota will be able to achieve its sales objectives in the first year.

A lot prettier than the regular Prius, the new version with plug-in capabilities will return a Toyota-estimated 120+ MPGe which will make it around 26 percent more efficient than its predecessor. In addition, it’s going to have twice the electric range by being able to run in zero-emissions mode for about 22 miles (35 km). Total range will stand at more than 600 miles (965 kilometers) with the 11.3-gallon tank full and the 8.8-kWh battery pack completely charged.

It will be interesting to see how much it will cost in United States seeing as how the second-gen Chevy Volt ($34,095 MSRP) can cover an EPA-estimated 53 miles (85 km) in EV mode.


Gallery: Toyota Prius Prime live at New York Auto Show 2016

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