New plug-in hybrid Toyota Prius Prime: ultra-low 120 MPGe consumption
4/19/2016, Milan Šurkala
Toyota is well known for its popular hybrids. The new generation of plug-in hybrid version of Prius was revealed as Prius Prime. It promises 120 MPGe consumption and the electric range was doubled to 22 miles (35 km).
Toyota revealed the next generation of plug-in hybrid vehicle Prius Prime. It replaces the old Prius Plug-in and it has slightly modified exterior in comparison with the new Prius 2016. The design of the plug-in version is not so extravagant but it still looks like a car from 2020s. New Prius Prime has a battery pack with doubled capacity to 8.8 kWh. That allows the car to achieve twice as long range. It is 22 miles (35 km) now, whereas the old Prius Plug-in has only 4.4kWh battery pack and was able to drive 11 miles (18 km) in EV mode.
That should be enough for every-day commuting and the driver can use EV mode at speeds up to 84 mph (135 km/h)! The consumption was optimized and Toyota has achieved the value of 120 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) instead of 95 MPGe of its predecessor. That is a 26% improvement. In European style of consumption rating, that means about 1.9 litres per 100 km.
Such great values were achieved thanks to better drag coefficient (Cx=0,24) and improved 1.8litre gasoline engine with Atkinson cycle. It can achieve 40% thermal efficiency but it is less powerful than the preceding one. The maximal output was lowered from 99 HP to 98 HP (from 73 kW to 72 kW), maximal torque remained at 105 lb-ft (142 Nm). Surprisingly, the maximal output of the electric engine was lowered from 82 HP to 72 HP (from 60 kW to 53 kW) and the combined maximal output went down from 136 HP to 122 HP only (from 100 kW to 90 kW).
Prius Prime has a 11.3-gallon tank (43 litres) for gasoline and it provides enough energy for a 600-mile drive (almost 1000 km). Therefore, we can see, that consumption of 120 MPGe is only theoretical one (for short distances when the car is fully charged) and we can expect something around 4.3 litres per 100 km in practice (approx. the same 55 MPG of the standard Prius). The battery pack can be charged in 5.5 hours using standard household outlet, but it can take half the time when 240 V is used (that is standard in Europe).
Prius Prime is equipped by with 11.6-inch HD multimedia screen and navigation system. Toyota Safety Sense P is not missing, it provides safety technologies like pre-collision system, pedestrian detection, automatic braking, lane departure alert, dynamic radar cruise control, blind spot detection, and rear cross traffic alert. New Toyota provides heated front seats, automatic climate control that can operate even when engine is turned off. It can also wirelessly charge your phone using the Qi interface. You can download Prius Prime Apps into your smartphone in order to find charging stations, track and compare your consumption achievements on social media or remotely control climate system. Prius Prime will be sold as 2017 model year from late fall 2016.